Outstanding in Their Fields

MNCH scientists earn top spots in new international ranking system

By Kristin Strommer
Director of Communications and Marketing
Museum of Natural and Cultural History 

We’re delighted to announce that five Museum of Natural and Cultural History scientists have been ranked among the most cited researchers in the world, according to a new Stanford University database.

Described in October 2020 in the journal PLoS Biology, the publicly accessible database lists academic publication metrics for the world’s top two percent of cited scientists in 2019—with standout numbers for our museum: Of more than 10,000 published archaeologists, MNCH zooarchaeology curator Madonna Moss ranked 206th, research associate Todd Braje ranked 110th, associate director Scott Fitzpatrick ranked 85th, and executive director Jon Erlandson ranked 15th. Greg Retallack, director of the museum’s Condon Fossil Collection, ranked eighth among geologists globally.

A paper coauthored by Jon Erlandson, Scott Fitzpatrick, and a team of international researchers was the nation’s number one media-covered archaeology study over the last five years.

ArchaeoGlobe logo

  Findings from the ArchaeoGlobe project were published in Science in 2019, becoming the most widely-covered anthropological research article in the U.S. over the last five years.

Also in October, we learned from the Center for a Public Anthropology that the University of Oregon has tied with Duke University as number one in the nation for media coverage of published anthropological research for the last two years—a distinction due in large part to widely covered studies by Erlandson, Fitzpatrick, and Moss. CFPA’s rankings also list a study coauthored by Erlandson, Fitzpatrick, and a team of international researchers as the nation’s number one media-covered study over the last five years. Read more about the study.

These distinguished rankings are a testament to the museum’s research excellence, scholarly productivity, and broad public impact. Congratulations to our outstanding museum scientists!

Header image: Jon Erlandson, pictured here with museum archaeologist Kristina Gill, has conducted more than three decades of archaeological research on California’s Channel Islands.


Kellum Tate-Jones studying a fossil pinniped collection

Graduate Research Updates

With the Condon Collection at their fingertips, three PhD candidates are probing the deep past to illuminate relationships between climate and ecosystems. 

Read more.

10,000 year-old sagebrush bark sandals from Oregon's Fort Rock Cave

Sandal Society Spotlight

Museum supporters cast their votes for fossils and folklife.

Read more.

An MNCH field investigation at the Paisley Caves

All Hands on Deck for Forthcoming Paisley Caves Book

The work will include chapters on the site’s archaeology, paleontology, and more.

Read more.



Volunteers and staff in collections

Connecting through Collections


A museum archaeologist sifting through sediment at a field site in south-central Oregon

Protecting and Preserving Oregon Heritage


MNCH volunteer Barry Hughes pulls open a drawer of fossils in the Condon Collection

Adapting to Change


Museum staff member Collin packing up kids' science kits to go

Lessons We Learned
from the Pandemic