Cervest has hired sustainable development and natural capital expert Sachin Kapila as its Chief Policy Officer. 

Sachin, who has already been working with Cervest in an advisory capacity, has today officially joined the leadership team. He will work with CEO and Founder Iggy Bassi to refine and direct Cervest’s strategy for supporting policy makers, and those managing risk around the globe, to make climate smart-decisions relating to land use, biodiversity, soil degradation, and deforestation. 

Cervest is already working with world-leading crop science and food companies, as well as farmers on the ground, through its proprietary AI-powered short-term and long-range prediction products FarmVest and DecisionVest. It has also recently won backing from the Newton Fund to work on a pilot  project in Colombia.  Working with several government supported partners in the UK and Colombia, it will fuse data and science to help improve the productivity, quality, and sustainability of cocoa bean production.  

Sachin will be tasked with extending the potential of Cervest’s next-generation technology to those responsible for developing policy that has a direct impact on the world’s natural capital – including governments, multi-laterals, insurers, foundations, NGOs, and firms financing adaption strategies. 

Sachin most recently served as VP in Shell’s Government Relations team, working with global organisations including World Bank, IFC, OECD, G20 and UN to ensure effective coordination of Shell’s policy in energy and climate. Prior to this role, he had sole Group responsibility for establishing global biodiversity policy, he developed tools and guidelines for forestry carbon, as well as building relationships with global organisations.

Previously he has worked for environmental consultancy ERM, covering EMEA, LATAM, and SE Asia. He holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

Sachin Kapila, Chief Policy Officer, Cervest, said: “Cervest has built an incredibly important platform with the ability to provide valuable science-backed evidence for vital decisions about natural capital that will shape the future of our planet. I am very excited to be on board and to work with Iggy and the team as Cervest continues to build its proposition for the world’s policy makers.”

“Iggy Bassi, Founder & CEO, Cervest, said: “Sachin brings with him a wealth of impressive experience in the policy and natural capital space through his work with global organisations and governments around the world. I am very much looking forward to working with him to harness the potential of Cervest’s next-gen machine learning technology for policy makers – helping those responsible for the world’s natural capital to make climate-smart decisions, mitigate risk and help to rebalance our planet.”

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.


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.