Five College of Natural Sciences (CNS) faculty members have been named among the top 100 researchers and academics in their fields in’s 2023 lists of Best Scientists in the U.S. All received 2023 Leader Awards in their fields. 

Two UMass Amherst researchers were ranked in the top 20. Baoshan Xing, professor and director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, made two lists, ranked #15 in the U.S. and #25 in the world in Best Scientists in Environmental Sciences; and #96 in the U.S. and #181 in the world in Best Scientists in Chemistry.  

Joining Xing as a top 20 researcher was David Julian McClements, Distinguished Professor of Food Science, who was ranked #16 in the U.S. and #21 in the world on the Best Scientists in Chemistry list.  

Xing’s research focuses on protecting the environment through maintaining and improving soil and water quality. He and a team were the first to show that nanoplastics – known to pollute oceans, surface waters and soils – also are internalized by plants and reduce lipid digestion in a simulated human gastrointestinal system. Another line of his research involves the application of nanomaterials in sustainable agriculture.  

McClements, a prolific author whose most recent book, Meat Less: The Next Food Revolution, has just been published, is known globally for his pioneering work in food design and nanotechnology. He and a multidisciplinary team at UMass Amherst explore the science and technology – including protein chemistry, soft matter physics, food engineering, sensory science, gastrointestinal fate and gut microbiome effects – behind the design and fabrication of environmentally friendly, plant-based foods that are fortified with nutraceuticals, vitamins, minerals or probiotics to address malnutrition and combat chronic disease. ranks scientists in various fields based on a transparent process that relies on multiple bibliometric data sources, among other metrics. Thousands of researchers are analyzed in every field. The rankings recognize researchers and academics who are significantly contributing to the advancements in their discipline, according to founder and chief data scientist Imed Bouchrika

Among the Best Materials Science ScientistsThomas Russell – Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering and director of Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Polymers – was ranked #28 in the U.S. and #53 in the world.  

Vincent Rotello, Distinguished Professor in Chemistry, was ranked #91 in the U.S. and #202 in the world. 

Among the Best Scientists in MathematicsPanayotis Kevrekidis, professor of mathematics, was ranked #90 in the U.S. and #159 in the world. 

Read the full list of UMass Amherst faculty on the lists.


Press release posted in Research