Sarah Jane Gurr



  • Fellow
  • Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities


  • University of Exeter
Department of BioSciences


  • United Kingdom


BSc, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
ARCS, DIC, MA and PhD, Oxford


Sarah Jane Gurr’s interest is in plant disease, with particular emphasis on fungal infestations and their global movement and control.

She has modelled movement, assessed global burden and commented on the impact of climate change on pathogen spread. Most recently, she has begun to build models to predict the movement and severity of specific fungal diseases, parametrizing the infection cycle, intercalating host resistance status and integrating this with climate data and time. She is also interested in the emergence of antifungal resistance, the synthesis of the fungal cell wall and in pathogenicity determinants.


Huxley Medal, Imperial College

President’s Medal, The British Mycological Society

Honorary Professor at Utrecht University

Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College Oxford

Research Fellow, James Hutton Institute

Relevant Publications

Fisher, M, Hawkins, N, Sanglard, D and Gurr, SJ (2018). Worldwide emergence of resistance to antifungal drugs challenges human health and food security. Science 360 739-742 

Schuster, M, Martin-Udiroz, M, Higuchi, Y, Hacker, C, Steinberg, N, Gurr, SJ, Steinberg, G (2016) Cell wall-forming enzymes are co-delivered in the same vesicle for coordinated formation of the fungal cell wall. Nature Microbiology 1:16149

Bagchi, R, Gallery, RE, Gripenberg, S, Gurr, SJ, Narayan, N,  Addis, CE, Freckleton, RP, and Lewis, OT (2014) Pathogens (fungi) and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition. Nature 506:85

Fisher, M, Henk, D, Briggs, C, Brownstein, J, Madoff, L, McCraw, S and Gurr, SJ, (2012) Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health Nature, 484:185
Spanu, P., et al (2010). Genome expansion and gene loss in powdery mildew fungi reveals trade-offs in extreme  parasitism. Science 330:1543