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World-renowned scientist joins food research alliance

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26 November 2012

Professor Sarah Gurr has joined the Food Security and Land Research Alliance between Exeter, Bristol and Rothamsted Research, taking up a post as the new Chair, based at the University of Exeter and Rothamsted's North Wyke campus. Professor Sarah Gurr will take up the post in February 2013.

The Food Security and Land Research Alliance was launched in October 2011 and brings together world-class expertise across a range of disciplines, from biosciences to agricultural science to economics and the humanities. It will establish the South West of England as a centre of global significance in food security and land research.

A world-renowned scholar and a member of the BBSRC council, Professor Gurr joins the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at Exeter from her current Chair in Molecular Plant Pathology at the University of Oxford. She will be hosted by Rothamsted's North Wyke campus and will have access to the newly commissioned, Integrated Farm Platform. This is a national facility funded by BBSRC which allows landscape level systems biology studies for sustainable agriculture and agri-ecosystems science and was launched in May 2012.

This appointment has been supported by additional funding from the BBSRC and is the first of a number of posts within the Food Security and Land Research Alliance area.

Sarah Gurr said "This is a most exciting opportunity - to build new collaborations and develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production. This extraordinary Farm Platform at North Wyke offers the research community a unique opportunity to look at key and topical issues in sustainable farming. I am looking forward to working with the world class scientists at the University of Exeter and Rothamsted Research as we develop interdisciplinary projects within the Food Security and Land Research Alliance with our partners at Bristol University."

Director of Rothamsted Research Maurice Moloney added that "Professor Gurr's appointment shows the calibre of scientists being attracted towards our BBSRC-funded research facility at North Wyke and the strength of the collaboration between Rothamsted and the Universities of Exeter and Bristol. This appointment places the Food Security and Land Research Alliance in a leadership position as we build a world-class network for research into food security and sustainable agriculture."


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