Plant Biology Faculty Among the Most Highly Cited


Thompson Reuters tracks the frequency with which papers that appear in the scientific literature are cited in subsequent publications. High frequency of citation is widely recognized as a measure of the impact that a scientist's work has had on a field and on the work of peers. Four faculty members in the Department of Plant Biology, Carol Augspurger, Don Ort, Steven Huber and Stephen Long, are among the select group Thompson Reuters Highly Cited scientists. Representative publications that have contributed to our colleagues' Highly Cited status are listed below.

Carol Augspurger is widely recognized for her seminal work on seed dispersal and its role in forest biology in the New World tropics. Also highly regarded as an inspired teacher, Carol's Introductory Ecology course is perennially rated excellent by students, as is Carol's teaching in it.

Don Ort, is the Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences. Don's work focuses on improving plant photosynthesis and understanding crop responses to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone concentrations. Don works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, leads the Genomic Ecology of Global Change research theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois, and was elected to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame in 2015.


Lin YC, Augspurger CK (2006) Long-term study of neighbour-regulated demography during a decline in forest species diversity. Journal of Vegetation Science 17: 93-102.


Russo SE, Portnoy S and Augspurger CK (2006) Incorporating animal behavior into seed dispersal models: Implications for seed shadows. Ecology 87(12): 3160-3174.


Zahawi RA and Augspurger CK (2006) Tropical forest restoration: tree islands as recruitment foci in degraded lands of Honduras. Ecological Applications 16: 464-478.



Ort DR, Long SP (2014) Limits on Yields in the Corn Belt, Science 344:484


Slattery, RA, Ainsworth, EA, Ort, DR (2013)A meta-analysis of responses of canopy photosynthetic conversion efficiency to environmental factors reveals major causes of yield gap Journal of Experimental Botany 64:3723-3733


Locke, AM, Sack, L, Bernacchi, CJ, Ort, DR (2013) Soybean leaf hydraulic conductance does not acclimate to growth at elevated [CO2] or temperature in growth chambers or in the field Annals of Botany 112:911-918


Zhu, X-G, Wang, Y, Ort, DR, Long, SP (2013) e-photosynthesis: A comprehensive dynamic mechanistic model of C3 photosynthesis: From light capture to sucrose synthesis. Plant, Cell and Environment 36:1711-1727


Borak, B, Ort, DR, Burbaum, JJ (2013) Energy and carbon accounting to compare bioenergy crops. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 24:369-375



Stephen Long has pioneered the development of the grass Miscanthus (shown behind him here) as a bioenergy crop. Stephen founded the Energy Biosciences Institute, where the culture and postharvest processing of energy crops such as Miscanthus will be explored.

Steven Huber has made numerous contributions to our understanding of how plant cells use protein stability and phosphorylation to regulate the activities of key enzymes in the assimilation of nitrogen and carbon into the pathways of metabolism.


Wittig, V.E., Ainsworth, E.A., Long, S.P. (2007) To what extent do current and projected increases in surface ozone affect photosynthesis and stomatal conductance of trees? A meta-analytic review of the last three decades of experiments. Plant, Cell & Environment 30:1150-1162.


Bernacchi, CJ; Kimball, BA; Quarles, DR; Long, SP; Ort, DR (2007) Decreases in stomatal conductance of soybean under open-air elevation of [CO2] are closely coupled with decreases in ecosystem evapotranspiration. Plant Physiology 143: 134-144.


Bernacchi, CJ; Leakey, ADB; Heady, LE; Morgan, PB; Dohleman, FG; McGrath, JM; Gillespie, KM; Wittig, VE; Rogers, A; Long, SP; Ort, DR (2006) Hourly and seasonal variation in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance of soybean grown at future CO2 and ozone concentrations for 3 years under fully open-air field conditions, Plant Cell and Environment 29: 2077-2090.



Qiu, QS, Hardin, SC, Mace, J, Brutnell, TP, Huber, SC (2007) Light and metabolic signals control the selective degradation of sucrose synthase in maize leaves during deetiolation. Plant Physiology 144: 468-478.


Huber, SC (2007) Exploring the role of protein phosphorylation in plants: from signalling to metabolism. Biochemical Society Transactions 35: 28-32.


Hardin SC, Duncan KA, Huber SC (2006) Determination of structural requirements and probable regulatory effectors for membrane association of maize sucrose synthase. Plant Physiology 141:1106-1119.