UM Researchers Among the Most Cited in the World

November 29, 2018

MISSOULA – Five out of six of the world’s most highly cited researchers living in Big Sky Country hail from the University of Montana.

That’s according to Clarivate Analytics, a company that monitors research data via its Web of Science platform. Clarivate said about 6,000 scientists made the 2018 list, representing more than 21 fields of research.

The UM honorees are Fred Allendorf, a Regents Professor of Biology Emeritus; Cory Cleveland, a professor of terrestrial ecosystem ecology; Philip Higuera, an associate professor of fire ecology; Gordon Luikart, a professor of conservation ecology and genetics at the Flathead Lake Biological Station; and Steven Running, a Regents Professor of Ecology Emeritus.

“This recognition highlights the national and even international impact of the amazing research that has been conducted right here at the University of Montana,” said Scott Whittenburg, UM vice president for research and creative scholarship. “The high quality of the faculty at UM provides cutting-edge educational opportunities for our students and is the primary reason the University continues to be ranked among the top schools worldwide.”

Allendorf and Luikart were honored in the “Environment/Ecology” category. Cleveland and Higuera were honored in the new interdisciplinary “Cross-Field” category, and Running was listed in “Geosciences.”

The sixth highly cited researcher in Montana is Paul Stoy, an associate professor in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. He also was honored in “Cross-Field.”

Clarivate estimates that about 2 million peer-reviewed papers are produced each year. Researchers on the list produced papers that ranked in the top 1 percent of most-cited papers in their respective fields over an 11-year period by the Web of Science.

A video about how Clarivate compiles its list is online at More information is online at

“It’s an honor to be named to this list,” Cleveland said. “While citation totals and other such analytics are certainly not perfect measures of the impact of our work, they at least provide evidence that the papers we are writing are being seen and read, and citations provide some level of assurance that we are doing interesting and important work in our fields.

“It is also meaningful to me to have made the list in the ‘cross-field’ category – a new category that identifies researchers with substantial impact across multiple fields over the past decade,” he said. “Science is becoming increasingly cross-disciplinary, and most of my work certainly falls squarely in that category.”


Contact: Scott Whittenburg, UM vice president for research and creative scholarship, 406-243-6670,