The Age of Seeds

How Plants Hacked Time and Why Our Future Depends on It


The astonishing story of seed longevity, and what this means for biodiversity and our future foods.


ISBN: 9781760761783 Category:

Fiona McMillan-Webster


Plants evolved seeds to hack time. Thanks to seeds they can cast their genes forward into the future, enabling species to endure across seasons, years, and occasionally millennia.

When a 2000-year-old extinct date palm seed was discovered, no one expected it to still be alive. But it sprouted a healthy young date palm. That seeds produced millennia ago could still be viable today suggests seeds are capable of extreme lifespans.

Yet many seeds, including those crucial to our everyday lives, don’t live very long at all. In The Age of Seeds Fiona McMillan-Webster tells the astonishing story of seed longevity, the crucial role they play in our everyday lives, and what that might mean for our future.

Additional information

Weight 400 g
Dimensions 15.4 x 23.3 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 26 July 2022
Number of pages 320
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 15.4 x 23.3 cm
Weight 400 g


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Fiona McMillan-Webster is a Brisbane-based science writer with a Bachelor of Science in physics and a PhD in biophysics. She has written science stories for National Geographic, Forbes, COSMOS magazine, Australian Geographic, and other publications. Her writing has also appeared in the Best Australian Science Writing anthologies for 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021. She was runner up for the UNSW Bragg Press Prize for Science Writing 2016.

In addition, Fiona has worked behind the scenes to help produce scientific content across a variety of other media. This has included the development of panel discussions for the World Science Festival Brisbane, as well as research for factual TV series such as the ABC's Ask the Doctor.

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