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our team


Michel Kaine

Michel has been involved in various developing countries since 1997 in Africa and the Caribbean and holds a patent for an innovative hand pump design. Founder of Grogenics and Quorum Inoculants, a NextGen Agriculture biotech company involved in the production of microbial solutions set to revolutionize the plant industry. Michel is passionate about helping ocean conservation, poverty communities and regenerative agriculture. Over the past several years, he has supported numerous research projects in Canada with IRBV, University of Montreal, McGill University, Laval University, Biopterre, Merinov and Agrinova. Michel sat on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Buildings, Maintenance and Security Advisory Committee for more than 30 years and holds a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Montreal Polytechnique.



With a Master in Marine Management, Katrina is passionate about the conservation of marine ecosystems, supporting coastal communities and small-scale fisheries, and the implementation of interdisciplinary management approaches to improve the biodiversity and socio-economic sectors within the ocean environment. Through a fellowship with the Nippon Ocean Nexus Centre, she completed her master’s thesis on Indian Ocean tuna fisheries with a focus on the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of Maldives’ pole-and-line skipjack tuna fleets. Katrina holds a master’s in marine management from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science, major in Biology, from the University of Prince Edward Island. She is very keen to further her expertise in management of ocean resources and aid under-represented coastal communities in achieving their needs for blue economic growth.



With over 30 years of experience in strategic fundamental and applied R&D management, Jeff brings his expertise to our team as a scientific advisor. He currently serves as the CEO of Gro-Rite Enterprises, a consultancy specializing in leadership on various aspects of service and product application. Jeff's remarkable background includes proficiency in biostimulants, plant nutrition, stress physiology, controlled environment agriculture, and product advancement. Notably, he's been enlisted in the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization, Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP), 3-year roster for consultants in developing countries, contributing to the shift towards sustainable agricultural systems.


Dr. Soon-Jae Lee

Since 2019, Soon-Jae has worked as a First Assistant at the Ecology and Evolution Department at the Université of Lausanne, Switzerland. His expertise in the field of mycorrhizal symbiosis—the relationship between the soil microbiome and plants—and his publication history span more than ten years. In 2017 and 2019, he was awarded Best Research. Soon-Jae has two bachelor's degrees in science, one each in physics and life science and biotechnology, from Kyungpook National University in Korea. He also has a PhD and a master's degree in philosophy from Montreal, Canada. He is our microbiology expert at Grogenics and has shown us the way to manage the heavy metals in the Sargassum collection.


Maria Belen Benitez Carranco

Maria is passionate about the environment, as evidenced by her studies: she holds two Masters degrees, one in Science, Conservation, and Valorization of Marine Resources and the other in Climate Change and Environmental Negotiation. She has worked as a Geographer-Urban Planner in Nice and as a Consultant of Blue-Carbon Research and Scientific Communication in the Department of Marine Biology in Monaco amongst other positions in recent years. Maria's understanding and expertise of Blue Carbon Credits is extremely valuable as Grogenics works to protect coastal ecosystems in order to mitigate the effects of global climate change.


Paola Candelaria

Since 2018, Paola has worked at Fundación Tropicalia first as a project assistant, from where she collaborated in the activities of the different programs carried out by FT, then she became responsible for the Productivity area, where she is in charge of the execution and monitoring of the programs corresponding to this area. Paola is an Agricultural Engineer from the Higher Institute of Agriculture University (UISA), in Santiago, DR; has a diploma in Social Entrepreneurship, and certifications in Development Project Management, Inclusive Agri-Food Systems, Controlled Environment Production and Organic Production. She is originally from Miches and was a beneficiary of FT’s scholarship program. She is now officially part of Grogenis's team and will not only be with us, but will be participating in her own garden.


Marie Durant Ratagne

Marie is a 18 year old bilingual student currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Management at the prestigious ESCP Business School, located in Torino. ESCP Business School provides her with a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive cultural background through its 3 years, three-country policy. Presently, she is studying at the Turin campus, and in the following years, she will transition to the Paris campus, ultimately culminating her studies in Berlin. So far, she has been exposed to a diverse range of subjects, including Business Organizations and Strategy, European Institutions and Comparative Political Systems, among others. At Grogenics, we value here foundation and Marie has been a wonderful addition to our team as an intern for the summer.


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Jean-Charles embodies a rich and harmonious life, seamlessly intertwining his career as a consultant and psycho-sociologist specializing in change management with an lifelong passion for agriculture. As an organic olive grower, his estate becomes a sanctuary for biodiversity, featuring over 200 heirloom tomato varieties, along with fig, citrus, and avocado trees. In cultivating a mini farm guided by permaculture and agroforestry principles, he extends his commitment to holistic land management, integrating pigs, cows, sheep, donkeys, and chickens. Through Grogenics, Jean-Charles applies his extensive experience to the development of composts, aiming not only to create effective organic fertilizers but also to empower farmers to nurture thriving plants. His ultimate aim is clear—to contribute to the collective effort of greening the planet, showing that individual and and collective change, rooted in sustainable agricultural practices, can be a powerful force for positive transformation on a global scale.


Dr. Mohamed Hijri

Mohamed is a full professor of soil microbiology with a focus on mysorrhizal symbiosis research at the department of biological sciences at the University of Montreal, where he has established The Hijri Lab at the Plant Biology Research Institute. Mohamed initiated over $30 M in research grants, including a large-scale project funded by Genome Canada and Genome Quebec, and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in high impacted journals. Mohamed obtained a BSc, MSc and PhD in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Burgundy, Dijon France, and  worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Molecular genetics and genomics with Dr. Ian R. Sanders at the University of Basel and the Sanders lab at the University of Lausanne.


Josee Dancause Kaine

With a background in economics, Josée embarked on a dynamic career journey. Initially, she served as the marketing director of a prominent downtown Montreal shopping complex. Following this, she engaged in a two-year contract as a representative for a foreign relations project, before her innate passion for creativity drew her back to the marketing domain. In her subsequent role in executive marketing, Josée's prowess became evident as she orchestrated comprehensive advertising campaigns across diverse sectors such as finance, medical, and manufacturing. Her talents extended to crafting websites, refining corporate images, conceiving logos, producing brochures, and curating copyrighted content for magazines. For the past 15 years, Josée has found gratification in contributing her expertise voluntarily to various committees at a private school in Montreal. Notably, she has lent her insights to committees focused on marketing, scholarships and bursaries, and has even served on the board of governors.


Conor Greaux-Taylor

After having studied in G. 9 at Trinity College School in Port Hope Ontario, Connor returned to his home country of St.Kitts and Nevis to pursue his studies at SKI Academy until G. 11. He then started to work full-time as a Travel Director for Sunlinc, where he remained until the Covid Pandemic struck. Grogenics was the ideal stepping stone for him to follow his passion of working in nature and supporting its ecological growth and ecosystems, because he was raised in St. Kitts and cared about the environment.



Gino is a hard-working, dedicated and ambitious individual who brings a diverse skill set to the Grogenics team. Holding diplomas in certified customer service, upholstering, and motorworks from Vocacional Miches, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. His five-year work experience at Consorcio Azucarera Central (Central Sugar Consortium) in the Dominican Republic, where he served as a producer and grower, has finely tuned his expertise in agricultural practices. Additionally, Gino has significant experience as a gardener and wood machine operator, further adding to his versatility and value to any project or team. Originally from Haiti, he now calls the community of La Mina del Oro near Miches home, demonstrating his commitment to contributing to local communities and economies.


Andrea Garcia-Mendez

As a seasoned Lead Director, Andrea has experience working in both museums and the art business. She graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and possesses strong leadership and teamwork skills. Over the past several years, she has served as the Co-Chair of the Young Global Leaders and the Director of Monaco Private Label Young Leaders Global. She speaks fluently in French, English and Spanish. Living in Boston, and having close ties in Monaco and Mexico, she is a fabulous addition to our team.

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