Leading geologist receives honorary doctorate
By Martie Meyer
Posted on 17 April 2012
Front: Prof Robin Crewe (UP Vice-Principal), Prof Santosh Warrier and Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu (UP Chancellor) Back: Prof Anton Ströh (Dean: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences), Prof Andrzej Kijko (Director: Aon Benfield Natural Hazards Centre, Africa at UP), Mr Philani Mavimbela (UP Department of Geology), Prof Pat Eriksson (Head of UP Department of Geology), and Prof Hariharan Rajesh (University of Johannesburg and also a former student of Prof Santosh Warrier)
The University of Pretoria awarded an honorary doctoral degree to Prof Santosh M Warrier, much better known to the global geological community as Prof M Santosh and one of the world’s leading geological scientists, at the Autumn Graduation Ceremonies on 13 April 2012. He is from the Kochi University in Japan.
The award of the DSc (honoris causa) is based on his leading international role in thinking and research activities on the global supercontinent cycle, on having established a journal (Gondwana Research) and led it as Editor to the very pinnacle of current international geological publications and on his personal research publication record and its citation profile.
He has taken the journal Gondwana Research from humble beginnings as a newsletter to one of the pre-eminent geological publications today, where it is published by Elsevier Science, the world’s leading science publisher, and it is currently in the number-one position amongst the general geological (non-review type) journals in citation rankings, with a 2010 impact factor of 5.503. Santosh has edited this journal throughout its remarkable growth and has turned it into a global geological powerhouse that bestrides the junction of established Western geoscience and underlines the rapidly emerging importance of Eastern (Japanese, Chinese and Indian) geoscientific thinking.
His long academic association with Japanese earth sciences, allied to an earlier educational foundation from India, has given him a unique strength in achieving this and in dominating global thinking and scientific activities related to the supercontinent cycle. His seminal 2004 co-authored book, Continents and Supercontinents, encapsulated ground-breaking work from over two decades.
Prof M Santosh was born in India in 1957 and obtained his PhD in 1986 from Cochin University. From 1981 to 2000, he was a research fellow and subsequently a scientist at the Centre for Earth Science Studies, India, with extensive postdoctoral periods in the UK (1988) and especially in Japan (1999 to 2000). It was in the latter country, from the University of Osaka City, that he obtained the DSc in 1990.
Since 2000, he has been a distinguished Professor at Kochi University in Japan. He has been the leader of several important bilateral research projects between India and Japan, has co-led a UNESCO project, has served on the board of five international journals of high standing, and has been a Visiting Professor at nine international universities in India, France, USA, Japan, Australia, China and South Korea.
He supervised eight PhD students as well as many MSc students at a number of universities. He has a publication record in high-class international journals and book series which would be very difficult to match for any person from any background: well over 300 scholarly works, an ISI (Web of Science) H-index of 33 (255 documents found; 3 562 citations), with a Scopus record of H=29 (268 documents found). There are 48 book or memoir contributions to add to the list of journal papers.
Prof Santosh has also earned many awards, most significantly the very top geoscience awards in India: the National Mineral Award and the Outstanding Geologist Award. The former is awarded annually by the Vice-President of the country.
Language Editor: Matilda Botha