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Four questions with CIMMYT’s Maize Genebank Curator

How to preserve and share the genetic biodiversity of maize.

Seeds are a cornerstone of food security. That is why the maize and wheat genebanks have always been at the heart of the work of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

Earlier this year, as the CIMMYT community wished farewell to Denise Costich, Terence (Terry) Molnar stepped into her shoes and took over the management of the world’s largest and most diverse collection of maize.

Molnar calls himself a curator, but unlike his counterparts at libraries and museums, his job is not only about registering and showcasing the 28,000 unique seed collections of maize. He and his team make sure that the rich maize biodiversity collected throughout time and geographies stays alive, viable and accessible to others.

We sat down with Molnar to learn more about his unique role and what we can do to celebrate biodiversity on the International Day for Biological Diversity — and every other day.