Sarah Hearne focuses on finding and using native genetic variation for crop improvement. She explores, harnesses, re-combines and develops applications in the areas of genomics, informatics and biometrics, aiming to leverage data synergies and more efficiently and effectively identify and use genetic variation in breeding.
She currently leads the maize and informatics development activities of the Seeds of Discovery initiative (SeeD) and the Toolbox of the Excellence in Breeding Platform. SeeD-maize focuses on the large-scale genotypic and targeted phenotypic characterization of 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 where Hearne is responsible for online resources that facilitate access to data, tools, services, germplasm, advice and training for other researchers and breeders.