At Cervest we are building technology to support the agri-food ecosystem and regenerate our planet. We contend that science has the answers and that innovation has a key role to play in our success. As such we have also taken an innovative and forthright path in choosing Clojure as our technology stack.

As we look around at our contemporaries in London, we see our choice reflected back at us; innovative new companies within our sector and without have also adopted this technology. Signal, USwitch, Metail to name but a few are already with us at the vanguard.  Others across Europe and North America are choosing this ecosystem as well. Clojure adoption is early by many standards, but innovators in London, and elsewhere, have bet on it.  And so have we.

The annual international Clojure Conj held in late November in the US underlined this trend. There we found exciting stories of success and innovation – with Clojure – from around the world. Immediately afterwards, Clojure eXchange in London strengthened the story. There is no doubt that the language and its stack is relevant, powerful and well respected.

Clojure is capable of best-in-class performance in many arenas. The way in which the language puts data in the centre of everything is perfect for our needs – enabling us to process a huge volume of complex natural capital data. We acquire and store a lot of this data. We need to prepare and present this data to our data scientists. We also need to surface a lot of results and domain information to our clients.

In Clojure, data is at the core of everything the software engineer does. Data is Code. Code is Data. It’s all Data. Using this paradigm, across our business, without adding technologies is a huge advantage. ClojureScript even allows us to build our user interfaces in the same way, using the same syntax. Our developers do not need to context-switch or shift paradigm. From the top of the stack to the very back end, we have a consistent environment. The economies of effort are huge.

Clojure also attracts high calibre professionals; thoughtful, innovative people who tend towards elegant thinking, and coherent solutions to problems.  Clojure is a language that rewards consideration in advance of action. Companies, like us, that adopt it are making a powerful statement about their engineering culture.

As we move into the next phase of our company’s life, Clojure is there to depend on. We are enlarging our Engineering team, and Clojure is a genuine draw.  We are releasing products we could not have built in so timely a fashion with other technologies. The next phase of our platform is not a daunting prospect. Clojure gives us the confidence to be proactive, while minimising risk – a priceless advantage.

Note: about Clojure
Clojure is a [Lisp] (https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_(programming_language), a Lisp that runs on the JVM.  The result is Functional programming within the Enterprise foundation of the Java ecosystem.  Clojure provides a route to using the elegance of Lisp, and the power of FP in the Enterprise.  It also offers a wealth of existing libraries and tooling from Java.  These opportunities deliver power, performance, security, reliability and maintainability in equal measure.

Ernesta Baniulyte 
Product Designer

Ernesta has been a full-stack product designer for more than five years. She has valuable experience in the B2B, B2C and B2B2C worlds, and while working at both agencies and product/service companies, she has learned to develop UX research infrastructures to support strategy.

At Cervest, Ernesta contributes to all stages of the product development process – from initial ideation to the exacting detail of UI design – finding new ways to visualise data, and ensure our product is intuitive and user friendly.

Ernesta’s decision to join Cervest was inspired by her desire to make the world a safer, better and more aware place.

Ramani Lachyan 
Junior Research Scientist

Ramani joined Cervest after obtaining her Master’s in Physics from ETH, Zurich. She brings with her valuable experience gained through working on model building and data simulation pertaining to neutrino physics.

Ramani has joined Cervest as a Junior Research Scientist and will be working on creating algorithms that allow for the extraction of physical observables from data from a range of sources.

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Lukas Scholtes 
Statistical Scientist

Lukas completed his maths BSc at ETH Zurich, followed by an MSc in statistics at Imperial College. He wrote his MSc thesis in collaboration with Cervest, on the modelling of North American wheat yields via Bayesian parametric and non-parametric methods.

Following an internship in the NGO sector in Bangladesh and a stint in the world of fintech, Lukas comes to Cervest, excited to apply himself to the challenges that are arising as a consequence of unsustainable land-use policies and climate change.

Aidan Coyne
Junior Researcher

Aidan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Science and Engineering at University College London with a focus on computer science and data informatics.

At Cervest, Aidan is working on researching and assimilating a database of articles categorising the reasons for extreme decreases in crop yields across Europe. The information will be used to help predict the impact of weather events on crop yield and contribute to  Cervest’s ability to bring clarity to decision making around climatic and extreme events.

While studying, she also volunteers with environmental conservation groups and youth engagement programmes.

Jasmine Thompson
Engineering Resident

Jasmine’s background is primarily in Python programming with a focus on data analysis and visualisation.

Since graduating, she has worked on data insights for a London-based dating app startup, helping the company understand the user base and guide new growth. She is now excited to use her skills to help Cervest deliver playback data and useful data analysis and is passionate about the potential of data science, machine learning and visualisation tools.

While studying at Westcliff High School for Girls she was involved in a variety of projects including GUI design for BAE Systems and data collection for a surveillance vehicle project sponsored by Leonardo S.p.A. She was also the Data Analyst for a long-running Southend Youth Council project that advocated for students having better mental health services in school.

Stoyan Binev
Junior Software Engineer

Stoyan is a BSc student at King’s College London with two years’ experience in software engineering.

With experience working for Amazon and Google as a software engineer, as well as for a fintech start-up, Stoyan was inspired to join Cervest’s by its planet-wide scale and the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.

He is currently finishing his degree and dissertation while also specialising in data processing at Cervest.

Agnes Schim van der Loeff
Policy Researcher

Agnes joined Cervest after completing her BA in Arabic and Development Studies from SOAS University of London. She is interested in the intersection of the social, economic and political dimensions of climate change and passionate about climate justice. During her studies she was also engaged in environmental activism, including as environment officer in the SOAS students’ union.

Agnes started at Cervest as a research resident exploring the ethical implications of AI in relation to climate change, which resulted in a paper selected for an oral presentation at the NeurIPS 2019 workshop on AI for social good. Building on this, she is developing an ethical framework for Cervest. As policy researcher she now does research on the regulatory context of Cervest’s work and on emerging policies relating to climate change. 

Kate Chkhaidze
Machine Learning Scientist

Kate joined Cervest after completing her PhD study at the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London. Her Project was on statistical and computational modelling of cancer evolution. Her educational background is in pure mathematics (BSc – Tbilisi State University) and statistics (MSc – Imperial College London). Before deciding to study for a PhD, she worked as a junior analyst/developer at the Bank of Georgia and in parallel was giving lectures in Statistics to undergraduate students in Tbilisi for almost two years.

At Cervest, she will be working as a Machine Learning Scientist on crop classification problems. She loves the mission and goal of the company and is very excited to be a part of the process of achieving it.