Meet the team

Turning research and innovation into real-world results

 

 

Scientists & builders

Our world-leading and multilingual statistical, climate, and machine learning scientists have an impressive network of more than 30 universities between them – including Cambridge, Harvard, Imperial College and The Alan Turing Institute – they have published more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

We also have deep expertise in software engineering, product development, sustainability and data. 

 

 

 

 

Thinkers & leaders

Our best-in-class science is complemented by a team with decades of experience in developing innovative commercial products for global brands, and providing visionary leadership across multiple global industries. We are proud to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Cervest is privately funded, and supported by mission-aligned investors.

 

 

Iggy Bassi

Founder & CEO

Dr Ben Calderhead

Chief Scientific Advisor

Dr Theo Damoulas

Senior Machine Learning Advisor

Dr Luis Costa

Climate Adaptation Scientist

Lilia Caiado

Climate Specialist

Dr Maxime Rischard

Principal Statistical Scientist

Owen van Eer

Statistical Scientist

Jevgenij Gamper

Senior Statistical Scientist

Kate Chkhaidze

Machine Learning Scientist

Lukas Scholtes 

Statistical Scientist

Ramani Lachyan 

Junior Research Scientist 

Aidan Coyne

Junior Researcher

Sachin Kapila

Chief Policy Officer

Agnes Schim van der Loeff

Policy Researcher

André DuBuisson

Chief Product Officer

Ernesta Baniulyte

Product Designer

Mark Hodgson

Chief Business Officer

Kate Rodger

Head of Customer & Partner Development

Oliver Godby

Head of Engineering & Tech

Conan Cook

Software Engineer

Michael Griffiths

Senior Engineer

Stoyan Binev 

Junior Software Engineer

Jasmine Thompson

Engineering Resident  

Anna Moses

Business Process Lead

Raj Mahapatra

General Counsel & Head of IP

Becky Charles

Communications Lead

Founder's Story

In 2009 I launched my first social impact initiative – a farm-to-market agribusiness in West Africa.

The business helped lift thousands of farmers into markets and improved their incomes through sustainable yield gains.  We had to confront first-hand the impacts of climate and natural resource volatility. This combined with what I had learned through one of my previous data analytics venture led me down a fascinating path.  I am passionate about AI’s potential to help people and businesses become resource-smart and adapt to changing environments with smarter, informed decisions. So, I set out to find like-minded people from around the world to help me turn this opportunity into a reality.

Now our team is building an Earth Science AI platform that empowers climate smart decisions and sustains Earth’s natural capital. 

Iggy Bassi, Founder & CEO

Iggy Bassi 
Founder & CEO

Iggy has a 20-year track record of building companies and advising global organizations (inc. Fortune 500 and sovereigns) on competitiveness, technology, and sustainability.

An advocate for climate-smart innovations, his first impact led agribusiness, GADCO, was supported by Acumen Fund, Soros, BMGF/AGRA, World Bank, and Syngenta. Its impact featured in UNDP, World Economic Forum, FT, Guardian and Huff Post.
A thought leader in natural capital, agriculture, and analytics, Iggy has spoken at forums including UN-FAO, World Bank, ICRD, Harvard, and the UK Government. His earlier career included investment banking, strategy consulting, and analytics software. He holds a master’s from the University of Cambridge (ESRC Scholar) and is a member of BMW Responsible Leaders.

Dr Ben Calderhead
Chief Scientific Advisor

Ben Calderhead, a pivotal part of the Cervest team since 2017, is one of the world’s foremost experts in Bayesian uncertainty quantification and computational statistics. Focused on developing state-of-the-art, computationally efficient statistical methods, he is passionate about using machine learning to tackle complex real-world prediction problems.

A leader in this field for more than a decade, Ben is an assistant professor and lecturer at Imperial College London, teaching statistical modelling and machine learning, and supervising PhD research on Monte Carlo methodology, probabilistic numerics and Bayesian volatility modelling in financial markets. Prior to this he was a visiting researcher at both Harvard and MIT (in 2013 and 2014), and a Research Fellow at UCL. He has given invited talks at leading research institutes around the world, including at Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and the Alan Turing Institute in London.

With more than 1500 citations to his name in world-leading academic journals and conferences, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, NIPS, Bayesian Analysis, Biophysical Journal and Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Ben is extensively published on topics including Markov chain Monte Carlo methodology, single ion channel modelling, and statistical inference using differential equations.

Ben holds a PhD and MSc in Computational Statistics, funded by a Microsoft Research scholarship, and an MSci in Mathematics from the University of Glasgow (2002-2010).

André DuBuisson 
Chief Product Officer

Andre is a product specialist with 16 years’ experience delivering and growing global B2C / B2B products and Marketplaces across multiple sectors.

He’s successfully serviced diverse clients in product management, business analysis, UX and consulting. Recent engagements have included the innovative use of data science & technology in dynamic marketplaces and developing a large-scale customer engagement platform.

He has previously held product leadership positions at Victor Limited and Collinson Group, developing customer loyalty solutions for well-known international brands.

Dr Theo Damoulas
Senior Machine Learning Advisor

Theo is an award-winning Associate Professor in Data Science with a joint appointment in Computer Science and Statistics at Warwick University.

A thought leader in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Bayesian statistics, Theo’s specific interests lie in the application of spatiotemporal inference, learning with humans in the loop, kernel (covariance) methods and evidence integration in the fields of biology, sustainability, ecology, and engineering. Theo’s role at Cervest draws all of these interests together.

Theo Damoulas joined the University of Warwick in 2015 from New York University where he was an Assistant Professor of Research (2013-2015). Before that he was a Research Associate in the department of Computer Science at Cornell University. He finished his PhD thesis titled Probabilistic Multiple Kernel Learning in 2009 at the School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.

A Turing Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and affiliated with NYU as a Visiting Exchange Professor at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), Theo has notched up more than 1000 citations and been published in high-profile academic journals including Nature Climate Change, Bioinformatics, ICML, NIPS, AI Magazine, Statistical Data Science and Biological Conservation, as well as two best paper accolades and two reproducible research awards.

Theo holds an MSc in Informatics (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh (2003-2004) and an MEng in Engineering (1st Class) from the University of Manchester (1999-2003).

Dr Luis Costa
Climate Adaptation Scientist

Dr Luís Costa joins Cervest with more than a decade’s expertise working at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – a top think-tank renowned for its cutting-edge research in the fields of climate impacts and sustainability research.

An engineer turned researcher, he lead climate change adaptation studies for European research projects, the German Ministry of Environment and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GmbH). He holds strong expertise in GIS, remote sensing and climate models, as well as being an advocate for a concerted global strategy on climate adaptation.

Luis graduated with a Diploma degree in Environmental Engineering from Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in 2006 and received his PhD from the University of Greifswald in 2013.

Owen van Eer
Statistical Scientist

A Master’s graduate of Statistics at Imperial College London, Owen joined Cervest’s Statistical Science team. Working in programming languages R and Python, he has helped develop some of the world’s most advanced Bayesian machine learning algorithms, designed to generate accurate and real-time crop yield predictions, encoded for continuously learning for the future.

Previously, Owen graduated with a first-class degree at the Erasmus School of Economics, where he won a best paper award in 2015 for his study on the optimisation of drone delivery networks. He has also worked at research and consulting company Veneficus, developing econometric algorithms and models to analyse data for clients in the retail and FMCG sector.  Just as he joined Cervest, Owen achieved a Distinction in his MSc from Imperial and won the Winton Prize for best MSc in Statistics Project for 2018.

Oliver Godby
Head of Engineering and Technology

Oliver is a veteran technologist and software engineer with 17 years’ experience working in innovative environments across the spectrum of start-ups, mature businesses and large institutional organisations. Recent engagements include the migration and modernisation of the BBC World Service (29 websites in 14 months) and two years working in the emerging start-up market in Manila, building innovative, scalable and cost effective platforms.

He is experienced in Cloud-based application design, infrastructure, deployment and the relevant technologies and practices required to deliver consistent, scalable solutions. He holds a graduate degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Raj Mahapatra
General Counsel & Head of IP

Raj has advised fast-growing companies in the UK and US on tech, social impact and public relations for more than 25 years on corporate, commercial, financial risk and intellectual property matters. Frequently navigating the complex interactions between legal jurisdictions, he combines this experience with his love of nascent regulation to better understand the intersection of technology, sustainable targets and the law.

He worked as a lawyer at Norton Rose and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP. Raj has worked with Iggy for more than 10 years, joining GADCO as Director of Legal Affairs in 2009. He graduated from the University of Bristol.

Becky Charles
Communications Lead

A former business journalist, Becky is an experienced communications consultant with eight years’ experience enhancing and protecting the reputations of ambitious and dynamic businesses from leading discount supermarket Lidl and Hearst Magazines, to ad-tech pioneer AppNexus and award-winning independent boutique marketplace Trouva.

Becky has worked with companies of all sizes and at all stages of growth from new enterprises reinventing old business models, to traditional firms pivoting their business models for a new era.

Passionate about new technology and its potential to create a better world, most recently her focus has been on leading award-winning activity for companies committed to delivering genuine change in their fields. She has a BSc in Linguistic Science from University of Reading.

Sachin Kapila
Chief Policy Officer

Sachin is a seasoned executive in sustainable development and natural capital. He served as VP in Shell’s Government Relations, responsible for interfacing with global organisations e.g. World Bank, IFC, OECD, G20 and UN – to ensure effective coordination of Shell’s policy in energy and climate.

Prior to this, he had sole Group responsibility for establishing global biodiversity policy, developing tools and guidelines for forestry carbon, as well as building relationships with global organisations.

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

Lilia Caiado
Climate Specialist

Lilia is an experienced sustainability and econometrics policy researcher
and a Climate CoLab Fellow at MIT working on Carbon Pricing. She has
previously held roles at CEBDS (Brazilian partner of WBCSD) and United
Nations Environment Programme, and has worked as a research assistant
at the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research investigating
regulatory aspects of a carbon market in Brazil.

Lilia holds a MSc in Energy and Environmental Planning from the Federal
University of Rio the Janeiro and is currently completing a PhD at University
College London in Sustainable Resources Economics.

Mark Hodgson
Chief Business Officer

Mark has 24 years’ experience setting up and running innovative new commercial operations at global technology companies including Google and Microsoft, as well as several UK tech startups.

Most recently he served as Chief Commercial Officer at award-winning AI and augmented reality company Metail, driven by its focus on creating smarter, more sustainable ways to shop for clothes online. Prior to that he was Global Head of Google’s Partner Program based out of San Francisco and London.

Mark is a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and has an MSc in Rural and Regional Resources Planning from Aberdeen University.

Dr Maxime Rischard
Senior Statistical Scientist

Maxime completed his PhD in Statistics at Harvard University this spring, having originally studied Physics and Astrophysics at UC Berkeley.

Joining Cervest with specific expertise in spatiotemporal models and computational methods, he has also worked at Google Geo as a quantitative analyst developing a geostatistical model of local business churn, and as a software developer and data scientist responsible for building prediction models at Gambit Research.

Maxime’s research and publications cover a wide range of topics in spatial statistics, such as bias correction in historical climate data, spatial methodologies for causal inference, and computational methods for Bayesian model selection.

Conan Cook
Software Engineer 

Having studied at the University of Edinburgh, Conan has worked as a full-stack engineer, lead and manager.

He has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and has been building products and bringing them to market in start-ups for over ten years.  Focused on the human side of software engineering, he’s delivered applications in sustainability (AMEE), finance (Markit, Entrepreneur First) and e-commerce (Style.com, Bright North).  He connects people at the intersection of product, engineering and management to build effective teams and scale products.

Conan is now committed to mission-driven projects, and joined Cervest in 2019 to help solve some of the largest problems facing the world today, using his extensive expertise to bring the future of prediction to today’s climate challenges.

Jevgenij Gamper
Statistical Scientist

Jev is currently completing a PhD in machine learning and medical imaging at the University of Warwick in the UK. He has a master’s in mathematics from Warwick Mathematics Institute, and an undergraduate degree in mathematics and finance completed in North Carolina, USA.

Joining Cervest with extensive expertise in applying deep learning models to giga-pixel medical and remote sensing images for semantic segmentation, classification and unsupervised learning, Jev has previously worked on machine learning methods for validating exo-planetary signal in Kepler satellite time series data, cell tracking in fluorescence images, as well as financial time series forecasting.

Jev’s research involves building deep learning models that are robust and generalise, and creating automatic machine learning tools for giga-pixel imaging. This involves research in topics, such as selection bias and its effects, hyper-parameter optimisation, and automatic model validation.

Anna Moses
Business Process Lead

Anna has broad experience helping organisations to define and operationalise their processes in order to achieve ambitious business objectives.

Anna has worked across the public, private, and charity sectors with a focus on organisational transformation through business analysis and behavioural science-focused change management, at organisations including the UK House of Commons, the Parliamentary Digital Service and leading US healthcare consultancy The Advisory Board Company.

Inspired by Cervest’s commitment to using technology for good, through both the delivery of game-changing products and an inclusive working environment, Anna is passionate about being part of the solution to the climate crisis.

She has a BA in Political Science and History from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, and also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Griffiths
Senior Engineer

Michael has been building software for over a decade as both a developer and analyst. He has worked and consulted in a broad spectrum of domains – including insurance, payments and e-commerce – for both early-stage startups and established companies. He is also a passionate open-source developer, being a co-maintainer of a number of developer tools for the Clojure programming language. Further, he has been a teacher for the ClojureBridge organisation, which provides free programming workshops for underrepresented groups in tech.

A dedicated environmentalist, having worked for the National Laboratory Service arm of the UK Environment Agency before entering the software industry, he joined Cervest in 2019 with a commitment to use his expertise to build flexible and scalable distributed software systems to help our world adapt to the growing climate crisis, while promoting sustainability and science-driven decision making.

Michael holds a B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics from University College London.

Kate Rodger
Head of Customer & Partnership Development

Kate’s background is in business development and partnership management. Since graduating from the University of Bath in French, Spanish and International Relations, Kate has worked in various commercial roles in a series of international and UK startups. Her experience has taken her down many different avenues, from working in Argentina and India to setting up a tennis-tech startup.

Kate most recently led a team at a London-based AI and Computer Vision start-up with the goal to make online shopping more personalised and sustainable. She is passionate about using her experience and learnings to help Cervest achieve its vision of a world where everyone is empowered to make decisions that improve the long term resilience of 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.

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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.