Science with soul
Our work has global impact, and we're a team with a global outlook. We are proud of our diverse voices and work hard to create a rich and varied workplace. Just like a healthy ecosystem.
We're all about the power of people.
We focus on supporting underserved communities in the tropics, who are directly impacted by climate change, food insecurity and health inequality. We work to remedy the challenges faced daily by local growers and consumers by listening carefully to what they have to say, in order to learn from and adapt to the specific needs of our farmers on the frontline.
Closer to home, we work with our local community in Norfolk to create a positive impact together. Our mission is to give back through volunteer work and to connect with those championing the same values as us.
As of Autumn 2023, we’ve exceeded our ambitious goal of contributing 700 hours of volunteer service this year, with an impressive 750 hours of volunteer work so far and counting.
From the historic grounds of National Trust sites such as Blickling Hall and Heigham Holmes, to the heartfelt care at The Norfolk Hospice and the sustainable practices promoted by Norwich FarmShare, our team wholeheartedly embraces a diverse range of volunteer opportunities.
Lead by example
We lead by example and inspire others to excel by embodying our shared values, by educating our peers and through kindness.
Strive for excellence
We strive for excellence in all aspects of our work, by owning our objectives, being committed to our shared success and focused on commercializing outstanding products for our clients.
We build trust through honesty, reliability and integrity. Trust is key to our success, as it is an essential basis for our relationship with our teammates, customers and the public.
We evolve and grow through continuous learning, allowing us to embrace change and quickly capture opportunities presented before us in our dynamic environment.
We value innovation, creativity and initiative from ourselves, our team and our business community.
We are passionate about our work and drive positive impact by listening, facilitating multidisciplinary team-work and by offering a smile to our colleagues and customers.
We are committed to supporting and respecting each other.
I joined Tropic Biosciences to challenge myself with cutting edge science and to develop and build my career.
What I like most about Tropic is the community. There's a great group of people who all look after each other, and produce great work.
My love for Tropic and the work we do here is based around the people I get to work with. The atmosphere and agility of our team members are unparalleled and drives us all to reach new heights on a daily basis.
I am part of an amazing team of creative, intelligent and culturally diverse colleagues, all driven by a collective sense of purpose and mission.
Personally, what I love the most about Tropic is the sense of achievement I feel at the end of every day and the fantastic colleagues I get to work alongside.
I am inspired every day by my work and buoyed up by the collective spirit in which we operate. Tropic really is one big family!
Gilad is an experienced AgriTech entrepreneur and investor, who is deeply passionate about utilizing cutting-edge technologies in solving real world challenges. He is a former Navy Ship Commander in the Israel Defense Forces (Ret. Lieutenant Colonel) and holds a Bs.C. in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Chief Executive Officer
Gilad M. Gershon
Ofir previously served as the Director of R&D in the Crop Protection Division at Evogene. Prior to this, Dr. Meir worked as a Discovery Lead at Monsanto, leading a team of scientists in developing innovative production systems. He had previously worked at Rosetta Green, later acquired by Monsanto. Dr. Meir received his PhD in life sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Chief Technology Officer
Eyal is an accomplished virologist and RNA biologist with a broad experience in the Agri-Tech industry. His seminal PhD work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem became the basis for an agricultural-genetics startup named Beeologics, which he helped build until its acquisition by Monsanto. He later served as the Chief Science Officer for Forrest Innovation, an agricultural BioTech company, before founding Tropic Biosciences.
Chief Science Officer
Jack is an accomplished commercial leader, experienced in both market-leading and early-stage genomics and life science companies. Prior to joining Tropic Biosciences, he held senior roles in sales and customer support at companies including Illumina, Bionano Genomics and Unchained Labs. Before embarking on his commercial career, Jack completed his PhD and Post Doc at the Sainsbury laboratory where he used Gene Silencing as a tool to study disease resistance mechanisms in plants.
Chief Business Officer
Jamie is responsible for leading Tropic’s strategic financial activities and is an accomplished finance executive with over 20-years’ experience across varying finance disciplines. Prior to joining Tropic he was most recently Vice President of Operations Finance at Pharmaceutical Product Development (now part of Thermo Fisher). Jamie is a Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Chief Finance Officer
Karen comes from a long and successful career in Senior HR roles within the pharmaceutical industry with GSK where she supported GSK's most-senior leaders and their teams in Research and Development globally. Karen has led HR across all disciplines from an early career in scientific recruitment, to designing and managing a global induction programme, talent management and succession planning as well as managing R&D function start up and new team development globally. Renowned for putting respect for people at the heart of everything she does, together with a passion and drive to make good great and great even better, Karen is well positioned to help drive the organisation and its leaders to the next level of our development as a company.
VP Human Resources
Dan has over 20 years of experience in novel seed and plant product development in most agricultural relevant countries around the world including, China, India and Thailand. Prior to joining Tropic Biosciences, he led the Vegetable Seed R&D organisation at Syngenta where he also learnt the importance of individual customer connection and understanding. Building, scaling and nurturing people centric organisations to meet growing agricultural needs is what excites Dan today. He received his PhD in gene and protein engineering from the University Portsmouth, UK.
VP Product Development
From 12 years as Director of Marketing and Product Development within Europe Middle East and Africa for Sakata (based in France), a global vegetable seeds company, Andrew brings a vast experience on the development and sales of a wide array of fruit and vegetable crops. Previously based in South Africa, working both with Sakata and a specialised fertilizer company, he has extensive experience in tropical and subtropical conditions relating to crop production.
VP Product Management
Duncan is an accomplished IP and legal professional with over 20 years’ international experience in life sciences. He joins from IQVIA where he served as Associate General Counsel and was a founding member of the senior leadership team of a newly established global business unit with revenues >$5BN. Prior roles include Director of IP at Juul Labs – the fastest company in history to achieve $10BN valuation – where he crafted the IP strategy to support rapid international expansion and win the trust of customers, regulators and policymakers, and General Counsel and Global Head of Transactions at Celixir – a clinical stage, cell therapy company founded by Nobel Prize winner, Prof Sir Martin Evans – where he was responsible for several transformative deals including collaborations, out licensing and M&A. Duncan studied biochemistry at University Cambridge before starting his legal career at Herbert Smith and moving to Redd where he was an Equity Partner.
VP Intellectual Property
Cristina is an experienced plant biologist and biotechnologist with extensive experience in the genetic improvement of a variety of plant species and crops through cutting edge technologies and in vitro techniques. She joined Tropic in 2017 and established the product pipelines for coffee and banana. Prior to this, she worked as a scientist at Rothamsted Research, Imperial College, the Sainsbury Laboratory and John Innes Centre. She was awarded her PhD at the University of Newcastle, UK in collaboration with Unilever, UK.
Director Banana Biotechnology
Nico Sawyer is an accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in strategy and business development. Currently serving as the Associate Director of Strategy and Growth at Tropic, he oversees the company's strategic initiatives and is a member of the ESG & Impact Subcommittee, driving efforts related to sustainability and impact. Prior to his current role, Nico worked at Open Blue as the Head of Business Development in Europe, where he led new product development projects and partnered with strategic accounts to scale revenue. Additionally, Nico is a co-owner of a vast citrus grove in Florida. With a background in sustainable food production and environmental stewardship, Nico is an innovative thinker and a resourceful problem-solver. He obtained his MBA degree from UCLA Anderson School of Management and served as an Investing Associate at Aliment Capital, where he was involved in scouting new investment opportunities.
Associate Director Strategy & Growth
Cassie is a scientist and a registered patent attorney with over a decade of experience in intellectual property, regulatory, licensing & corporate law, and IP due diligence. She has global experience protecting IP and driving regulatory approvals in the areas of biotechnology and bioengineering from plants to animals, in private practice and in-house for U.S. and U.K. publicly traded companies. Cassie completed Harvard Business School’s General Management Program, holds a B.S. in Molecular Genetics with honors from The Ohio State University, an M.S. with an emphasis on Biomathematics from North Carolina State University, and obtained her law degree with honors from Drake University.
Cassie J. Edgar
Mr. Vigodman is a highly experienced executive with extensive expertise across the agricultural and life-sciences industries.
From 2014 to 2017 he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Israel’s largest company and the leading global generic pharmaceutical company. From 2010 to 2014, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Adama Agricultural Solutions (FKA Makhteshim Agan Industries), the world’s leading generic crop protection company and a top-6 global agronomical company. From 2001 to 2009, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Strauss Group, a multinational food and beverage company.
From 2014 to Present he has been serving as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Israel National Economic Council (Prime Minister Office). From 2005 to 2009 he served as a Member of the Advisory Board to the Governor of the Bank of Israel. From 1998 to 2001 he served as a member of the Israel Securities Authority Plenary Governing Board.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. David Lawrence is a former Non-executive Director at Syngenta. Prior to that, he was the Head of Research & Development at Syngenta from 2002 to 2009. Past roles include Council membership of BBSRC, and Chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Strategy Advisory Panel, and Directorship of Rothamsted Research. Currently he is Chair of the UK Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd, Chair of Agrimetrics Ltd, a Director of the Rainbow Seed Fund, and a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
Niccolò is a founder at Five Seasons Ventures who has been investing in Food Tech since 2014, and created and managed a portfolio of 10 high-profile Food Tech companies, including Impossible Foods, Clara Foods, Beyond Meat, JUST, Perfect Day and Clear Labs, as part of a leading European family office. His experience includes sourcing, diligence and growth strategy for early stage companies in Food Tech and, more broadly, in tech.
Previously, he was Project Manager at strategy consulting firm Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), focusing on food ingredients, healthcare, consumer and industrial goods, across strategic marketing and organisational engagements. Prior to that, he worked as part of the McKinsey & Co. Management Matters initiative on management best practices and their impact on productivity and efficiency in the public (healthcare and education) and private (manufacturing) sectors.
Niccolò holds a BSc in Management from Bocconi University and an MSc in International Affairs from the London School of Economics and Peking University.
Ben Belldegrun is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Aliment Capital, a $490M growth capital fund dedicated to food and agriculture technology, backed by leading university endowments, institutions, foundations and family offices. His responsibilities include investments, portfolio management and board related activities across investments in food and agriculture productivity, resource efficiency, health/nutrition, and sustainability in the industry supply chain. Prior to launching Aliment, Belldegrun was a co-founder and managing partner of Lodestone Natural Resources. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Brevan Howard Asset Management concentrating on agriculture investments within the $300 million Natural Resources Fund. He has more than 15 years of successful agriculture investing experience. Belldegrun holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Jamie Rowles is part of the founding team of Tropic Biosciences and provides strategic support across Tropic’s financing and corporate development growth. Jamie is an experienced investor, operator, and lawyer committed to building companies applying cutting-edge technologies to drive environmental impact. He recently launched an early-stage climate fund – the Planet Fund, previously built an environmental vehicle anchored by Sky and has past experience across the full spectrum of private and public financings in both the US, UK, and Middle Easy. Jamie holds an MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management in California, where he received the Price Entrepreneurial Award, and a LLB from Bristol University.
Counsel & Company Secretary
Dr. Pétiard has a long career in industrial research and is the former Director of the Nestlé Corporate Research & Development Center for Plant Science and Technology, an institute he founded and developed in Tours, France. He has considerable experience in Plant Science applications and supply chain for Consumer Good Companies with pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. His technical expertise in agriculture and plant breeding/biotechnology has been applied to a variety of crops – including both speciality and tropical plants.
Advisor, Coffee Genetics
Barbara Mazur worked for DuPont Pioneer/Corteva Agrisciences; prior to her retirement, she was Vice President, Technology Acquisition Strategy, with responsibilities for venture investments and external collaborations. Prior to this she led trait technology programs, and before that had responsibility in DuPont Pioneer and in DuPont for crop protection traits. Barbara earned her A.B. from the University of California at Los Angeles and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow and research assistant professor in the Department of Biophysics & Theoretical Biology at the University of Chicago. She has served on several scientific boards and panels, including the Board on Biology of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation Biology Advisory Board, the Board of the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology, numerous university research advisory boards and as a board observer for startups.
Barbara J. Mazur
David Baulcombe was a student in Botany at Leeds (BSc) and Edinburgh (PhD) Universities. After periods in Montreal, the University of Georgia and the Cambridge Plant Breeding Institute he spent 20 years at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. He joined Cambridge University in 2007 as Royal Society Research Professor and now as Regius Professor of Botany.
David is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a foreign associate member of the US National Academy of Sciences. His awards include the 2006 Royal Medal of the Royal Society, the 2008 Lasker Award for basic biomedical sciences, the Wolf Prize for Agriculture in 2010 and the 2012 Balzan Prize. He was knighted in June 2009.
Advisor, RNAi & Plant Genetics
Sir David Baulcombe
Professor Paul Teng is an agricultural scientist experienced in tropical agrifood systems and food security. He researched and taught epidemiology and plant disease management in North America, Africa and Asia after his graduation from Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Paul has been recognized for his phytopathology work through being awarded the Eriksson Prize in Plant Pathology, and election as Fellow of The American Phytopathological Society, the International Society for Plant Pathology and The World Academy of Science. He was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. by Murdoch University, Australia for his food security research.
Professor Paul Teng is Managing Director, NIE International Pte. Ltd., and Adjunct Senior Fellow, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, RSIS, both of Nanyang Technological University Singapore. He is also concurrently Senior Adviser (AgriFood) to A*STAR (Singapore’s premier technology R&D organization with substantial investments in agtech and the food industry). Paul previously held leadership positions in the International Rice Research Institute, the Worldfish Centre, Monsanto Company and U.S. universities.
Advisor, Rice Genetics
Sedef Koktenturk is a Managing Partner and the Chief Operating Officer at Blue Horizon. She is the Impact Partner in the investment teams and leads on firmwide impact management and ESG integration, client operations and technology. Sedef has 20 years of capital markets experience from leading global investment firms including Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs. She started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in financial advisory and holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School in New York. Sedef is also an Olympian; she represented Turkey in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in windsurfing.
Advisor, ESG & Impact
Neil Cameron holds expertise in the field of advanced materials and processes, as he co-leads the sustainable packaging practice at Emerald Technology Ventures with Fredric Petit. As a Partner at Emerald, Neil is delighted to be involved in all phases of the investment process, helping young deep-tech start-ups become heavy-hitters in the circular economy. Neil also supports the open innovation initiatives of some of the world’s leading corporate partners as they achieve their sustainability and profitability goals. In the Emerald Portfolio, past and present Board roles include Phase Change Energy Solutions, Tropic Biosciences, actnano, Lucintech, and others.
Neil’s academic background is in advanced materials and holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and a BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of King’s College (Dalhousie University). Neil is a product of the global village and is happy to commiserate in English or French.
Advisor, ESG & Impact
Shahar is a seasoned operations manager with over a decade of expertise in the life sciences and biotechnology industries. Previously, Shahar served as the Director of Operations and IT at Evogene. His qualifications include completing the Senior Operations Management programme at Lahav Executive Education at Tel Aviv University and the Project Management course at the Technion, Haifa.
Director of Operations
Qi Li joined Temasek in 2015 and has been focusing on investments across food and agribusiness value chain globally. She moved to London in 2019. Prior to this, Qi Li was a Vice Principal at Rothschild, a global leading financial advisory firm for seven years, first in Paris, France, and then in Beijing, China. Qi Li holds a Master of Finance degree in Institut des Sciences Politiques de Paris (IEP Paris), and a B.A. degree in Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Benoit is an accomplished professional in bioinformatics and agile coaching. He joined Tropic in 2021 to lead a strong team of bioinformatician. Benoit dedicated his career to advancing the use of computational tools in the analysis of biological data. Benoit earned a MSc in bioinformatics from the University of Rouen in France and has contributed to several high-profile research projects, including the development of the UniProt knowledgebase. Outside of work, Benoit is an avid triathlete, dedicated coach, and accomplished international competitor. His success in both his professional and athletic pursuits can be attributed to his unwavering dedication, discipline, and attention to detail, which continue to inspire those around him.
Associate Director of Bioinformatics
Rob is a seasoned R&D leader, with a background in molecular plant-microbiology and biotechnology. Previously, Rob was working in academia at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia (UEA), receiving his PhD in 2012 in marine microbiology from UEA. At Tropic, he is leading the technology department, where he manages the GEiGS® and Discovery teams.
Associate Director of Technology