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Our Team.

Meet the people behind Grogenics!

For our advisory board, please click here.


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.


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.

Dr. Jeff Norrie
International Agricultural Consultant


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. Thimothe Croteau

Passionately committed to sustainable land management and environmental conservation, Timothé's journey led him to establish Les Jardins d’Inverness, a thriving organic farm in Quebec, in 2011. His venture swiftly gained recognition as an exemplar of both efficiency and profitability. A dedicated educator, Timothé designed a comprehensive training module, enabling him to impart his expertise to aspiring market gardeners of diverse backgrounds, aiding them in their pursuit of success in bio-intensive market gardening or enhancing their home gardens. Expanding his influence further, Timothé fostered a partnership with Argentinian market gardeners in El Bolson, Patagonia, since 2015. This collaboration aimed to bolster farming practices and elevate living standards by introducing enhanced agricultural methodologies. Equipped with a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of British Columbia, Timothé brings a unique perspective to his role as a team member at Grogenics. His role involves implementing his innovative methods in DR, contributing to the company's endeavors in a dynamic manner.


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.


Alexandra Kaine

Introducing Alexandra, our newest and youngest team member, whose journey from Quebec to studying in British Columbia as a boarder has shaped her into a promising talent. Having successfully graduated from high school, Alexandra is poised to take the next step in her academic journey by enrolling in an engineering degree program at Queen's University, set to commence this fall. Alexandra has established herself as a key player on our team. Her meticulous attention to detail and keen understanding of technology's applications have aided the organization's advancement. Notably, she's been instrumental in conceptualizing ideas and compiling comprehensive, up-to-date reports for various organizations. As she embarks on her four-year undergraduate journey in Engineering, we eagerly anticipate the invaluable contributions Alexandra will undoubtedly bring to our team upon her formal integration following the completion of her education.


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.


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.


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. 


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.

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