Two Konstanz researchers among the world’s most influential scientists

Professors Urs Fischbacher, Economics, and Iain Couzin, Biology, are named in the global Highly Cited Researchers List for 2018.

Two researchers at the University of Konstanz, Urs Fischbacher in the Department of Economics, and Iain Couzin in the Department of Biology, have been named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List. Now in its fifth year, the list by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thompson Reuters) recognizes researchers whose citation records position them in the highest ranks of influence and impact as determined by their peers around the globe.

Fischbacher and Couzin were identified by the citation analysis for publishing leading peer-reviewed papers that rank in the top 1% most-cited in their respective fields over a decade—revealing the value of the work and extent to which the Konstanz researchers have influenced the work of other scientists in their fields.

Urs Fischbacher is an experimental and behavioural economist whose research focuses on social preferences and processes of economic decision making; the latter often in interdisciplinary collaborations with psychologists. He developed the z-Tree, a toolbox for readymade economic experiments and introduced influential experiments, for example on conditional cooperation or honesty. He was awarded the Joachim Herz Economics Prize in 2016. He belongs to the 1% of most highly cited economists, according to Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), and has been named on the Global Highly Cited Researchers List in 2014 and 2016.

Iain Couzin is Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz, and also Director of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Collective Behaviour. His work aims to reveal the fundamental principles that underlie evolved collective behaviour, and he has pioneered the study of leadership, decision-making and collective sensing in animal groups. In recognition of his research he has been awarded the Searle Scholar Award in 2008, Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant 10” Award in 2010, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award in 2012 and the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 2013.

Couzin and Fishbacher, together with Professor Oliver Deussen in the Department of Computer and Information Science, have also been successful with their recently funded Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour”. Backed by a 30-million euro investment, the Centre will create a global hotspot for the study of collective behaviour. With the aim of establishing collective behaviour as an integrative field, the Centre will bring scholars from the diverse disciplines of biology, computer science, social psychology, physics, and behavioural economics together to create a globally unique interdisciplinary environment for the study of collective behaviour.

Professor Kerstin Krieglstein, rector of the University of Konstanz says: “Two researchers from the University of Konstanz are among the world’s most influential researchers. I am so pleased and congratulate Iain Couzin and Urs Fischbacher on this honour and on the recognition of their top-level research. Together with our two new Clusters of Excellence, their achievement testifies to the University of Konstanz’s global standing in research excellence, and its continued investment into recruiting top talent to build on our outstanding interdisciplinary research."

Placement on the list has been recognized as a significant achievement for those named. The 2018 list includes over 4000 Highly Cited Researchers in 21 fields of science and social science, and places Germany fourth on the list of countries with the most Highly Cited Researchers. The Web of Science serves as the basis for regular listings of researchers whose citation records position them in the top 1% by citations for their field and year. 

The full Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list and executive summary can be found online at .

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