Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Professor Geoff M Gurr

Professor Geoff Gurr

BSc (Hons) Plymouth, Grad Cert (Sydney), PhD (London) DIC (Imperial)

Prof Gurr's PhD at Imperial College, the University of London, was complemented by training at Rothamsted and field research based at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Cambridge.  Since migrating to Australia in 1991 he has worked for the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of New England and currently, Charles Sturt University.  As Professor of Applied Ecology, he leads one of the largest entomological research groups in the country that has recently included members from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well as Australasia.  The group - with its wide network of national and international collaborators - aims to better understand the biology of pests, their natural enemies and the defence mechanisms of plants.  This knowledge is being used to develop more sustainable crop protection strategies.  ARC projects, for example, are applying this approach in forests, vineyards and vegetables. Other work in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute and partners in China, Thailand and Vietnam is developing ecological approaches for devastating rice pests.  Prof Gurr has published over 100 articles and chapters and is currently finalising his third book "Biodiversity and Pests".

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  • Protecting Australia's pine plantations from exotic pests and climate change (ARC Linkage )
  • Reducing vulnerability of rice crops to pre-harvest losses caused by plant hopper outbreaks (Asia Development Bank)
  • Risk assessment and biosecurity preparedness for glassy-winged sharpshooter and the plant pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidious (CRC National Plant Biosecurity)
  • Native parasitic wasps: a new eradication tool against fruit fly incursion management (CRC National Plant Biosecurity, Horticulture Australia Ltd, Riverina Citrus)
  • Attract and reward: a novel approach to enhancing biological control of crop pests (ARC Linkage)
  • Integrated management of Finschhafen disorder of oil palm (ACIAR)
  • Ecosystems services for cotton (CRC)
  • Biological control of vegetable pests (Horticulture Australia Ltd)


Prof Gurr has recently been involved in a multi-university project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Association (ALTC) that developed the National Curriculum for Entomology.  Over the last 20 years he has developed and taught various undergraduate and postgraduate subjects related to plant protection, research methods and agronomy.  For the last eight years he has served as Associate or Sub Dean with the University of Sydney and CSU with responsibility for postgraduate training. 

Prof Gurr has conducted grant-funded educational research into models for supervision of research students and the 'Supervisor-Student Alignment Model' he developed and successfully used with students has been adopted by a major Australian web portal ('fIRST') and analysis of the model's use published in the journal 'Higher Education Research and Development'. Prof Gurr has supervised 18 postgraduate research students to completion and been appointed examiner for 26 postgraduate theses.  His students have been winners of the Australian Entomological Society's 'Phil Carne Prize' for best student paper in 1996, 2006 and 2007. He has been recipient of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association 'Teacher of the Year Award' and served on the NSW Board of Studies Higher School Certificate Examination Committee for Agriculture for three years, most recently as Chair.

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  • Trophic interactions and community ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Integrated pest management

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Zehnder G, Gurr GM, Kühne S, Wade MR, Wratten SD & Wyss E (2007). Arthropod pest management for organic crops. Annual Review of Entomology. 52: 57-80. (Impact factor: 10.680, >59 citations)

Gurr GM, Wratten SD & Altieri MA (eds) (2004). Ecological Engineering: Advances in Habitat Manipulation for Arthropods. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne (Australasian publisher)/ CABI International, Wallingford (European Publisher)/ Cornell University Press, Ithaca (Americas publisher). 244 pp. ISBN 0643090223 

Gurr GM & Wratten SD (eds) (2000). Biological Control: Measures of Success. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, 448 pp. (ISBN 0-412-84280-7).

Landis D, Wratten SD & Gurr GM (2000). Habitat management for natural enemies. Annual Review of Entomology. 45: 175–201. (Impact factor: 10.680, >364 citations).

Baggen LR & Gurr GM (1998). The influence of food on Copidosoma koehleri, and the use of flowering plants as a habitat management tool to enhance biological control of potato moth, Phthorimaea operculella. Biological Control. 11: 9–17. (Impact factor: 1.572, >93 citations)

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