Sarah Gurr

Image of Sarah gurr
Chair in Food Security
University of Exeter

Sarah Gurr studied at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (BSc, ARCS, DIC and PhD), where she was awarded The Huxley Medal for her outstanding record of achievement.  She was a post-doctoral Fellow at St Andrews University and then held an independent Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Molecular Plant Pathology. She was appointed, firstly as Lecturer, then Reader and Professor at Oxford (and Fellow of Somerville College), where she held a Leverhulme Trust Royal Society Senior Research and a NESTA Fellowship. Sarah was appointed to the Chair in Food Security, at Exeter University in 2013. She has been Head of School for the past 2 years. She was formerly President of The British Society of Plant Pathology and currently sits on BBSRC Council (until 2018). Sarah holds the Donder's Chair (Honorary) at Utrecht University, 2016-2017 and was awarded the President’s medal by BMS in 2018.


Project Lead: Daniel Bebber
PHC2022/05 will take a unique cross-disciplinary approach using biophysical risk modelling combined with social science methods to analyse the threat from emerging plant health threats to both arable and horticultural crops in Scotland.

This project was selected for funding from the Project Call: “Enhancing preparedness against pests and diseases: plugging evidence gaps for Scotland”.
From this project there will be an improved understanding of potential risks from plant pathogens under future climate scenarios to inform future priorities for pathogen detection and surveillance efforts. The biophysical modelling will be added to with qualitative data from existing Scottish Government funded stakeholder consultation research.

The project will also identify knowledge gaps for further research, such as in biology, host distributions, and other biophysical factors influencing pathogen spread as required by the model, as well as a shared understanding with stakeholders of priority concerns regarding future plant health risks.