Sarah Gurr, Honorary Doctor in Agricultural Science

Last changed: 22 September 2022

Saah Gurr has been appointed honorary doctor at the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science at SLU.

Sarah Gurr researches plant diseases, and she has made outstanding contributions in the fields of plant protection and food security. These include major breakthroughs in molecular plant pathology, fungal biotechnology, disease modelling, invasive species and the consequences of a changing climate. Since 2013, Sarah Gurr has held the Chair in Food Security at the University of Exeter. Prior to this, she was professor of molecular plant pathology at the University of Oxford. She was awarded her doctorate in Plant Pathology in 1983 from Imperial College London. Sarah Gurr has published over 150 articles in scientific journals and has received a number of prestigious awards.

Sarah Gurr’s main research interest is how fungal diseases affect agriculture, horticulture and urban environments, as well as how these are spread globally and can be controlled. Recently, her research group has placed great effort into identifying fungal and oomycete plant diseases that are, or may become, serious threats to global food security. In this work, they model how climate change and human activities will affect the spread of such diseases and how they can be controlled in the future.

Sarah Gurr has been keen to share her knowledge with the research community and society, through participation in conferences, newspaper articles and radio programmes. She has also been highly involved in citizen science and public outreach and policy on matters related to her research. Furthermore, she also has a long history of collaboration with researchers from the SLU Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Sciences, where she has acted as an external advisor and a mentor for young women researchers. Sarah Gurr has played an important role in evaluating the research conducted by SLU in 2018. She is currently a member of SLU’s International Advisory Board, which advises the vice-chancellor and university management on strategic issues.