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Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professor Geoff Gurr Professor Geoff Gurr

BSc (Hons) (Plymouth) PhD (London) DIC (Imperial College) GradCert(Sydney) DSc (Charles Sturt)

Professor Gurr is well known internationally for his work on applied insect ecology and developing ecologically-based strategies to combat pests.  

Work over the last three decades has spanned biological control of insect pests, plant defence, insect-vectored plant pathogens, chemical and molecular ecology.  His chief contribution has been to develop strategies for promoting the activity of natural enemies of pests and simultaneously delivering other ecosystem services. These methods are used on increasing numbers of farms, particularly in Asia. The work has been the subject of two of the three books for which he was senior editor and multiple papers with more than 100 citations each including a very highly influential (952 cites) Annual Review of Entomology paper. He has held Australian Research Council funding continuously since 2007 and is currently about to commence leading his fourth project for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, this valued at over $1.5M.  

Professor Gurr has collaborated widely in Australia and overseas. He has held visiting professor positions at the University of Sydney, Zhejiang University and, currently, at Lincoln University (New Zealand) and Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University (FAFU). The latter is now supported by a $1.8M dollar 'Thousand Talents' fellowship. Work at FAFU culminated recently in the publication of the diamondback moth genome in Nature Genetics while other work in Asia on rice pest management is about to be published in Nature Plants.

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Teaching Interests

Professor Gurr currently lectures in the following subjects:

  • AGR610 Sustainable Agriculture Dissertation

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Research Interests

  • Applied insect-plant ecology
  • Biological control of pests
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Insect vector-phytoplasma-plant interactions
  • Developing country cropping systems

Current Research Projects

  • 2016-2021 Developing improved crop protection options in support of intensification of sweetpotato production in Papua New Guinea. Funded by ACIAR $1,508,000 G Gurr et al. Collaborating scientist: S Sar et al. (National Agricultural Research Institute, PNG)
  • 2015-2018 Harnessing agroecosystem biodiversity for bean production and food security. Funded by Darwin Initiative, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK $507,000. Collaborating Scientists: P Stevenson & Patrick Ndakidemi (Royal Kew Botanic Gardens, UK  & Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology, Tanzania).
  • 2015-2018 Graduate research training opportunities for African students in agricultural ecology to support food security. Funded by McKnight Foundation, $143,000. Collaborating Scientists: P Stevenson & Patrick Ndakidemi (Royal Kew Botanic Gardens, UK  & Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology, Tanzania).
  • 2014-2016 Ecological pest management for vegetable and tea pests. Funded by the Chinese Government Thousand Talents Program $1,908,000. G Gurr. Collaborating scientist: M You (Fujian Agric & Forestry University, China)
  • 2013-2016 Invasive plant success and multi-trophic level chemical ecology using Paterson's curse as a model. Funded by ARC $ 784,000.  Collaborating scientists: Prof L Weston et al. (CSU) & Prof R Callaway (University of Montana).
  • 2013-2017 Landscape diversity in regulating and suppressing the population of diamondback moth.  Natural Scientific Foundation of China $463,000. Collaborating scientist: M You et al. (Fujian Agric & Forestry Univ)
  • 2014-2018 The evolutionary relationships and geographical patterns of genetically varied populations of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.)  Natural Scientific Foundation of China $600,000. Collaborating scientist: M You et al. (Fujian Agric & Forestry Univ)
  • 2014-17 Bogia coconut syndrom and related phytoplasmas of palms in Papua New Guinea. Funded by ACIAR $330,000 G Gurr et al. Collaborating scientist: T Kakul et al. (Cocoa and Coconut Institute, PNG)

 Research Students

PhD Current
  • Pandey S. (PhD, Charles Sturt University, 2016-present) "Conservation biological control in brassica crops". (Endeavour Scholarship)
  • Zhu, Z. (PhD, Charles Sturt University, 2016-present) "Conservation biological control in grain crops". (Charles Sturt University Scholarship supported)
  • Blankson A. (PhD, Charles Sturt University, 2016-present) "Botanical insecticides: the potential role of some indigenous pesticidal plants". (Charles Sturt University Scholarship supported)
  • Mohammed, S. (PhD, Charles Sturt University, 2015-present) "Biological studies of the parasitoid Fopius arisanus, a potential biological control agent of Queensland fruit fly". (Charles Sturt University Scholarship supported)
  • Jamil SF. (Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture, Charles Sturt University, 2014-present). "Chemical ecology of Echium plantagineum / herbivore interactions". (ARC Discovery Program supported)
  • Saqib, S (PhD, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Biology of ecological traits on pest suppression by natural enemies". (Chinese Government Funding)
  • Saif I. (PhD, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Effect of landscape on biological pest suppression". (Chinese Government Funding)
  • Dash C (PhD, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Food webs and biological control enhancement in a diverse greenhouse production system". (Chinese Government Funding)
  • Chen ZM (PhD, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Biology of invasive insect pests of palms in China". (Chinese Government Funding)
  • Chen WB. (PhD, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2013-present). "Tri-trophic interactions between parasitoids, brassica plants and the diamondback moth". (Chinese Government Scholarship)
  • Skoneczny D. (PhD, Charles Sturt University 2013-present). "Role of environment and genetics in production of secondary metabolites in Echium plantagineum". (ARC Discovery Program supported).
  • Carr, C. (PhD, New England, 2007-present (part time)). "The effects of landscape structure on Trichogramma spp and other natural enemies of crop pests". (University of New England-supported)
  Masters Current
  • Lu HY (MPhil, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Vector insects of the phytoplasma disease Bogia coconut syndrome in Papua New Guinea". (Chinese Government Funding)
  • Zhu JW (MPhil, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, 2014-present). "Induced plant defence and natural enemy attraction in an Arabidopsis thaliana model system".  (Chinese Government Funding)

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Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Australian Entomological Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society
  • Editorial Board, Scientific Reports, nature Publishing Group UK
  • Editorial Board, Biological Control, USA
  • Subject Editor, Bulletin of Entomological Research, UK
  • Editorial Board, Biopesticides International, India
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Encyclopedia of Pest Management, USA
  • Editorial Board, Peer J, UK
  • Editorial Board, Annals of Applied Biology, UK

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