Professor Guy Midgley, Interim Director of Stellenbosch University's School for Climate Studies, has been awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF) reflecting peer-recognition of his international leadership in earth system science.
Midgley is renowned internationally as a global change science expert with a primary research interest in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, carbon dynamics and species adaptation and extinction risk.
“I am grateful for the extremely hard work that the NRF does to maintain their individual rating system, which is well recognised by our universities and underpins South Africa's science system's excellence and impact," says Midgley.
The NRF rating system is a benchmarking system which classifies researchers according to research excellence and impact, using an extensive network of South African and international peer reviewers.
Ratings are based on the quality and impact of recent research outputs (over an eight-year period). An A-rating means that Midgley is regarded by his peers as a leading scholar in his field, known internationally for the high quality and impact of his recent research outputs.
This NRF A-rating awarded in the earth sciences is the latest in an extensive list of accolades for Midgley, whose career spans nearly four decades. His previous NRF A rating (2015) was awarded in the plant sciences.
Awards include the Humboldt Foundation Research Award for lifetime contributions to science, the Royal Society of South Africa's Marloth Medal for outstanding contributions and he was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) team awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
In 2014 Thomson Reuters listed him as a “Highly Cited Researcher", and in 2022 he was listed #180 among the top 1 000 most influential climate scientists globally. Midgley was also recently elected President of the US-based JRS Biodiversity Foundation, which leverages a $50 million endowment to support biodiversity informatics research in southern Africa.
He has authored and co-authored more than 200 scientific and popular publications and he was recently named as Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Climate Studies.
Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at Stellenbosch University says, “Midgley's A-rating bolsters SU's standing as an internationally acclaimed, research-intensive university. Although the NRF is still in the process of releasing the outcome of the latest round of ratings, and SU is expecting more results, Midgley's rating brings to 21 the number of SU researchers with an A-rating. SU currently has 498 NRF-rated researchers.
This positive outcome supports SU's vision and mission to be a research-intensive university where we attract outstanding students, employ talented staff and provide a world-class environment; a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities. Well done to Prof Midgley and the rest of our SU Professoriate for continuing to put SU on the local, national, regional and global platform".