Linsey Marr has been recognized as one of the most cited researchers in the world. 

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Marr was one of six Virginia Tech researchers recently named to Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers 2023 list. A global company that maintains the Web of Science, Clarivate compiles an annual list of researchers who demonstrated significant influence through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

Citations — other scientists referencing a researcher’s findings in their own academic papers — are not only an acknowledgment of excellent work, but an indicator the work is playing a significant role in moving the researcher’s field forward. This group of highly cited researchers represents about 1 in 1,000 of the world’s scientists and social scientists, according to Clarivate.

Along with Marr, Virginia Tech’s Walid Saad, Wenjing Lou, Lina Quan, Kwok Tsui, and Zheng "Phil" Xiang were also among 7,127 researchers from 68 countries and regions recognized this year. 

About Marr

In the researcher’s words

What does it mean to you to be among the most highly cited researchers?

I feel gratified that my work is valued by others and is helping advance their research. I share this recognition with my collaborators and especially my students and postdoctoral researchers, whose ideas and hard work formed the basis of my publications.

What do you most want people to know about your research?

I want people to know that the flu virus, coronavirus, and other viruses that cause colds can float around in the air for a while. It is possible to get sick by breathing these in — someone doesn’t necessarily have to cough on you.

What work on the horizon most excites you?

I am very excited about my MITIGATE FLU project because our interdisciplinary team is trying to figure out how much flu is transmitted by different routes and how we can best slow the spread of the flu in child care centers. This project is fun because it brings together a lot of different types of expertise — aerosol science, engineering, epidemiology, medicine, and virology — to tackle a pressing question that many people care about.

What motivates you to keep moving forward?

Two things: Curiosity and the joy of discovering something new, and working together with smart people and learning from them.

Who is your favorite fictional scientist?

I wish there were more women scientists in movies, shows, and books. I can’t name any, so I’ll go with Doc Brown in “Back to the Future.” I admire his creativity, optimism, and quirkiness.

What advice would you give to new research faculty?

Find a niche that is underexplored. You have the advantage of bringing a fresh perspective to the field. Use that to chart new territory rather than follow a well-trodden path. Also, seek out a group of mentors and ask them lots of questions. Each person will give you a different answer, and you can blend the responses to figure out what works best for you.

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