Meros is excited to welcome Sonali Chauhan as the newest member of our team.  Sonali joined us last month and is already deeply involved in a variety of Meros projects. She has a Ph.D. in agriculture development studies from the University of Tokyo and a background in botany.

Over the past decade, her projects have taken her to rural India and Japan, where she conducted field research and projects with communities in the forestry, agriculture, and fisheries sectors. She also worked on a national ecosystem assessment for the country of Grenada as part of a global initiative by UNEP-WCMC (UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre) to support biodiversity and ecosystem services. Grenada is the first Caribbean nation to participate in a national ecosystem assessment.

Sonali’s most recent work involved project management and capacity building for revitalization of the Fukushima region of Japan, a region deeply impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, by forming a university alliance network under the Fukushima Coast Innovation Framework.

As an ethno-botanist, Sonali is fascinated by how human use of plants shapes society and culture. She is deeply interested in medicinal plants and curious about synergies between the agrifood and health industries. As a plant connoisseur, she loves trying and cooking different cuisines,  including Moroccan and Mexican,  making handmade skincare products and sharing interesting tidbits about plants.  Her green thumb has already allowed the many plants in the Meros office to thrive like never before.

“The reason I am most excited to join Meros is because it is a perfect match for my career expectations – both the work culture and the subject area,” Sonali explained recently.

“I knew I wanted to work in food and agriculture consulting and learn from an experienced team. Not only does Meros provide just that, but also after talking to the team, I felt right at home geeking out about plants and talking passionately about food! It was the first time during my job hunt that I met people who matched my wavelength so well. This sense of belonging and team culture, as well as my high regard for the vast knowledge and experience of the team, sealed the deal for me and I knew I HAD to work at Meros.”

“I think Team Meros is all about enabling people to be their best individual selves, each one contributing their strengths and creating impactful results with detailed and diverse perspectives. I am looking forward to deep dives into various new interesting topics and adding new vantage points to Meros projects from my own background and experience.”

Since joining us, Sonali has worked with us to support the business development of a cultured meat start-up in Japan, dug into agricultural e-commerce in India and joined the team creating a guide to Japanese e-commerce.

At the University of Tokyo, Sonali’s doctoral work focused on technology adoption and impact of small-scale cultivation of medicinal plants on a tribal community in India. She is fluent in English, Japanese, Hindi and Gujarati.