Sonali has a Ph.D. in agriculture development studies from the University of Tokyo and a deep background in botany.

Over the past decade, her projects have ranged from fieldwork in India and Japan to a national ecosystem assessment for Grenada, working with rural communities in the forestry, agriculture, and fisheries sectors. Her recent work involved project management and capacity building for revitalization of the Fukushima region of Japan by forming a university alliance network under the Fukushima Coast 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 different cuisines, making handmade skincare products and sharing interesting tidbits about plants.  

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.