Anita Gurney

Dr Anita Gurney

Head of Research Services


Anita is the Head of Research Services in the Research and Innovation Office, providing leadership to ensure the University delivers excellent research that has impact on economy and society.


Anita is focused on policy, governance, research funding and oversight of doctoral provision, with a lead role in preparations for the next Research Excellence Framework, having gained significant experience through managing submissions to the RAE 2008 and REF 2014.

Anita’s current areas of work include

  • policy
  • governance
  • research funding
  • oversight of doctoral provision
  • supporting the research community
  • working with stakeholders across the University
  • developing relationships with funders and relevant policy makers externally

An alumnus of the University of Essex, gaining a first degree in Biological Sciences and later a PhD in plant physiology from the University of Sheffield. Anita is a long-standing member of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA).

Anita is particularly supportive of researcher development, notably the advancement of women in their careers. Her role as an Aurora mentor is especially rewarding, with a commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was recognised through securing the HR in Research Excellence award.


Journal articles

Awre, C., Baxter, J., Clifford, B., Colclough, J., Cox, A., Dods, N., ... Zawadzki, M. (2015). Research Data Management as a “wicked problem”. Library Review, 64 (4/5), 356-371.

Gurney, A.L., Slate, J., Press, M.C., & Scholes, J.D. (2006). A novel form of resistance in rice to the angiosperm parasite Striga hermonthica. The New phytologist, 169 (1), 199-208.

Gurney, A.L., Grimanelli, D., Kanampiu, F., Hoisington, D., Scholes, J.D., & Press, M.C. (2003). Novel sources of resistance to Striga hermonthica in Tripsacum dactyloides, a wild relative of maize. New Phytologist, 160 (3), 557-568.

Gurney, A.L., Taylor, A., Mbwaga, A., Scholes, J.D., & Press, M.C. (2002). Do maize cultivars demonstrate tolerance to the parasitic weed Striga asiatica? Weed Research, 42 (4), 299-306.

Gurney, A.L., Press, M.C., & Scholes, J.D. (2002). Can wild relatives of sorghum provide new sources of resistance or tolerance against Striga species? Weed Research, 42 (4), 317-324.

Press, M.C., & Gurney, A.L. (2000). Plant eats plant: sap-feeding witchweeds and other parasitic angiosperms. Biologist (London, England), 47 (4), 189-193.

GURNEY, A.L., PRESS, M.C., & SCHOLES, J.D. (1999). Infection time and density influence the response of sorghum to the parasitic angiosperm Striga hermonthica. New Phytologist, 143 (3), 573-580.

FROST, D.L., GURNEY, A.L., PRESS, M.C., & SCHOLES, J.D. (1997). Striga hermonthica reduces photosynthesis in sorghum: the importance of stomatal limitations and a potential role for ABA? Plant, Cell & Environment, 20 (4), 483-492.

Gurney, A.L., Press, M.C., & Ransom, J.K. (1995). The parasitic angiospermStriga hermonthicacan reduce photosynthesis of its sorghum and maize hosts in the field. Journal of Experimental Botany, 46 (12), 1817-1823.

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