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Wits Professor receives international top rating

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Karen Mwendera
August27/ 2017

Professor Lyn Wadley, who is a joint honorary professor of archaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies said she had to go through a rigorous process to receive this acclaim.

A Wits professor in archaeology has been awarded an A1 Rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The rating now means that she is one of the top rated leading international researchers within archaeology.

Professor Lyn Wadley, who is a joint honorary professor of archaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies said she had to go through a rigorous process to receive this acclaim. Wadley is also affiliated with the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University. “The NRF rating process involves having eight years of publications reviewed by eight to ten international reviewers of similar standing to the applicant,” said Wadley.

“In order to achieve an A1 rating, a researcher must be recognised by all the reviewers as a leading scholar in his/her field internationally for the high quality and wide impact (i.e. beyond a narrow field of specialisation) of his or her recent research outputs,” she told Wits Vuvuzela.

Director of Research Development at Wits said it was an honour for a Witsie to receive this award. “This is truly outstanding. It means she is a leader among leaders and hailed as one of the global leaders in the field. One cannot overemphasize the importance of this achievement,” he told Wits News.

Wadley is known for her research on the Middle Stone Age excavations in the rock shelter in Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal from 1998 to 2011. She believes that this rating will now assist her to obtain better funding opportunities Waldey is currently  working on a project which involves analysing 60 000 year-old grass and plant bedding from Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal with another colleague from the archaeology department. “We are trying to discover whether people were using medicinal plants in their bedding and we hope to examine the site maintenance strategies that were used in the cave,” Wadley said.

Despite the award, Wadley felt pleased that she can “contribute in a small way to an improved world ranking” for Wits. “I am passionate about my work and love the intellectual challenges that it presents,” she said. “It is encouraging to know that many of my peers appreciate the work I am doing so I shall continue with the approach that I initiated,” she added.

 

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Karen Mwendera