Door, Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Dornith Doherty has been traveling around the world photographing seed vaults. There are about 1400 or so seed vaults in the world, and their mission is serve as a kind of back-up system for the planet’s plant species. Should disease, climate change, or nuclear war wipe out our bio-diversity these seed vaults can function like Noah’s arcs, and would give us a chance to bring lost species back from the dead. In addition to photographing the vaults, Dornith has been making X-ray images of the seeds themselves, exposing the elaborate internal structures otherwise invisible to the human eye.
Last week I got a chance to speak with Dornith about her work. We talked about the so-called “Doomsday Seed Vault” near the North Pole, her X-ray photographs, and the precarious state of seed collections around the world.
Incubator, National Center for Genetic Preservation, Fort Collins, Colorado (2009)
Smallest Seeds in the World, Australia
Isolation Chamber, Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, New York
Seed Vault, Kuban Experimental Station, Russia
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