Meros is geared up and ready for our new summer research assistant Mako Irisumi. Welcome!

Mako is an undergraduate student at Wellesley College in the US, with a major in Computer Science and also a student researcher this past year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab. She previously interned with the Japanese development consulting company Padeco on an infrastructure project in Romania. Mako is a Tokyo native but has been studying in the US since high school.

Meros is extremely busy right now and Mako has been able to jump right into projects and support our current work. She has been researching the sustainability goals of global start-ups related to regenerative agriculture and as well as supporting the kick-off of a new project with Hokkaido University and the Japan International Cooperation Agency that will focus on cassava and carbon markets in Vietnam.

Mako was an obvious fit for Meros. “I am strongly inspired by Meros’s global contributions to the food and agriculture sector, especially in agri-tech, and its diverse team. As a student researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab, I conducted research on passive solar desalination to address water sanitation challenges in Madagascar last year. Our fieldwork in Madagascar for three weeks in January allowed me to witness firsthand realities of global poverty, especially food insecurity issues, fueling my desire to solve food insecurity worldwide. I also enjoyed collaborating with diverse teammates and engaging in global collaboration. Additionally, as a computer science major, I was very curious about how to solve this food insecurity issue from an agri-tech perspective. Therefore, Meros’s international impact in the agri-tech sector and its diverse team and clients align perfectly with my passion.”

Mako will be working on an independent research project that combines her interest in technology and economic development, by looking at Japan’s Rural 5G initiative that is exploring ways to bring 5G telecommunications to rural and agricultural communities in Japan. This will allow her dig into the various financing models for rural infrastructure, the benefits 5G can bring to farmers, the level of demand among farmers and the potential technologies that it may allow.

“This fall, I hope to improve my research skills. In addition to desktop research, I am excited to develop my abilities in conducting interviews and field research. Learning from experienced team members at Meros will be an invaluable opportunity for my professional growth.”

Like the rest of the Meros team Mako loves discovering new foods. “I love exploring new restaurants and have around 20 saved on my Google Maps just in the Meros neighborhood alone. I particularly love fish, especially mackerel (saba), as it is delicious whether grilled, stewed, or served as sushi.”