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2 Ag Sciences Faculty Among Highly Cited Researchers in 2022
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 01/24/2023

Andrew Patterson and Jonathan Lynch in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were recognized recently as highly cited researchers by the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Group.

The group’s annual list comprises authors who published papers in leading peer-reviewed journals. Researchers given this honor are in the top 1% of citations for their field of study and publication year.

The 2022 list included close to 7,000 highly cited researchers who were categorized into 21 broad fields of science, including social science. Both Patterson and Lynch have appeared on the list before.

“The College of Agricultural Sciences has outstanding faculty who are world-renowned in their impact,” said Blair Siegfried, the college’s associate dean for research and graduate education. “Being recognized among the highly cited researchers especially demonstrates the global implications and significance of the research being conducted by professors Patterson and Lynch. We want to make sure they are recognized for their contributions.”

Patterson holds the John T. and Paige S. Smith Professorship and has appointments as professor of molecular toxicology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and as professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Eberly College of Science. He also is affiliated with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the Penn State Cancer Institute.

Patterson studies small-molecule metabolites in biological systems, collectively known as the metabolome. The rapidly emerging field holds promise for understanding disease processes and improving human health.

Patterson's current research focuses on understanding the host-metabolite-microbiota axis — specifically how the manipulation of gut bacteria affects host metabolites and how these metabolites interact with the host to modulate health and disease.

Lynch is a distinguished professor of plant nutrition in the college and director of the Center for Root and Rhizosphere Biology in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. He researches crop productivity and plant adaptation to stress to improve yield and food security.

His research lab’s seminal work on plant nutrition and the acquisition of phosphorus and nitrogen established a clear connection between root architecture and the acquisition of nutrients. Lynch also studies drought tolerance in crops and plant response to salinity and toxins. Through the invention of laser ablation tomography, Lynch found new ways to map root anatomy in 3D.

Lynch’s efforts to pioneer phenotyping platforms for use on plants grown in the field, combined with his efforts to develop computer simulations to facilitate testing of conceptual models, promises to revolutionize our understanding of how plants respond to stress and nutrient availability in a real-world setting.

He and his collaborators have identified novel root traits that are now commonplace in breeding programs for crops such as bean, maize and soybean.

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