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four headshots of researchers
From left: Stephen L. Vargo, Fei-Fei Jin, the late Ruth D. Gates and Daniel Huber.

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers were honored among the world’s most influential researchers of 2021. Shidler College of Business Professor Stephen L. Vargo, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Professor Fei-Fei Jin, Institute for Astronomy (IfA) Astronomer Daniel Huber and the late Ruth D. Gates were named to the 2021 Web of Science’s Highly Cited Researchers list.

The annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science™ citation index.

“The rankings demonstrate the superior quality of work by our faculty across many different disciplines, providing further evidence of our status as one of the world’s great research universities,” said Provost Michael Bruno. “Their research and scholarship fuels the knowledge, creation and innovation that is key to our society’s future, and we are proud to have them as part of our UH ʻohana.

Shidler Professor Stephen Vargo

This is Vargo’s eighth consecutive year named to the list in the business and economics discipline. Vargo earned the recognition by demonstrating exceptional influence through his publications, which were frequently cited by his peers during the last decade. His articles focused on the “Service-Dominant (S-D) Logic” framework, which redefines how value is co-created through economic exchange.

SOEST Professor Fei-Fei Jin

Jin was named to the list in the cross-field category, which identifies researchers who have contributed highly cited papers across several different disciplines. Jin’s research interests cover a wide range of topics, including the dynamics of large-scale atmosphere and ocean circulations, and climate variability. His primary research focuses are understanding the dynamics of El Niño-Southern Oscillation, climate variability in the extratropical atmospheric circulation and global warming.

IfA Astronomer Daniel Huber

Also honored in the space science discipline, Huber’s research focuses on the structure and evolution of solar-type and low-mass stars using observational techniques such as asteroseismology, optical long-baseline interferometry, spectroscopy and broadband photometry, as well as the discovery and characterization of exoplanets. Using data from space-based and ground-based telescopes such as Kepler, K2, TESS, Keck, the CHARA Array, as well as various ground-based photometric and spectroscopic surveys.

The late Ruth D. Gates

Gates, recognized in the cross-field discipline, was a tireless innovator and advocate for coral reef conservation. The focus of her most recent research efforts was creating “super corals,” coral species occurring naturally in the ocean that could be trained to become more resilient to these harsh conditions.

David Pendlebury, senior citation analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said, “It is increasingly important for nations and institutions to recognize and support the exceptional researchers who are driving the expansion of the world’s knowledge. This list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers.”

This research is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

The full 2021 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found online here.

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