Board of Directors

Sarah Hearne

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) Carretera México-Veracruz, Km. 45, El Batán 56237 Texcoco MÉXICO

My work focuses on the exploration and application of native genetic variation in crop improvement. Working in the translational science interface between basic and applied plant science my emphasis has been on enhancement of the efficiency and effectiveness of moving research knowledge to product. I explore, harness, re-combine and develop applications in the areas of genomics, informatics and biometrics, aiming to leverage data synergies and more efficiently and effectively explore, identify and use genetic variation in breeding and enhance conservation. To date I have worked on maize, wheat, cassava, cowpea and musa spp. across Latin America, Eastern, Western and Southern Africa.

I currently lead the Seeds of Discovery Initiative (SeeD) at CIMMYT, the flagships on Novel Diversity and Tools for Increasing Genetic Gains within CRP MAIZE and WHEAT and within the Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB) I lead the work on trait discovery and pre-breeding strategies for CGIAR crops.

SeeDfocuses on the large-scale genotypic and targeted phenotypiccharacterization of maize and wheat germplasm bank collections resulting in the identification of accessions and genomic regions of value and translation of this knowledge into new pre-breeding germplasm. This data-driven science is complemented by emphasis on data management and equitable, IP-sensitive knowledge sharing facilitating fair access to respurces for germplasm conservation and breeding efforts. With EiB I am taking my experiences to date and working with a team of quantitative geneticists, biometricians and breeding leads, re-defining and identifying optimized strategies to prioritize and leverage geneticresources fortrait discovery and deployment.