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Dr.Merve Kaya

Dr.Merve Kaya

Techno-Commercial Executive

Work Experience
  • Department: Life Science Engineering, Chair: Digital Agriculture
    The World Agricultural Systems Center - Hans Eisenmann-Forum (HEF) aims to facilitate and communicate research for science-based solutions for regional and global agriculture at TUM, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Tasks: Assist in grant proposal development, Facilitate team collaboration, Organize research seminars and events, Handle research budgets and resources, Maintain research databases and documentation, Outsourcing journalists/ editors/ translators
  • Reporting to Director of HEF (Top 1% Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science)
  • Company Overview: Agrochemical company based in Turkey, producing residue-free plant protection (fungicides and insecticides) and plant nutrition (microbials and biofertilizers) products for sustainable agriculture.
  • Tasks: Conducting market research, analysing competitors, presenting and developing ideas, and creating strategic business plans.
  • Reporting to CEO
  • Company Overview: Dynamic manufacturing company based in Turkey & England for the production and sales of fertilizers.
  • Tasks: A spokesperson is a member of a company's Marketing Department. The task is to present a professional "face" and consistent message for the company in media interviews.
  • Reporting to CEO
  • Company Overview: Biotechnology-based Spanish company, specialized in the science of microalgae to develop and commercialize high quality biostimulants.
  • Tasks: Leading cross-functional teams (Japan, India, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, Greece, USA, Mexico, and France) through the Stage-Gate Process, resulting in 2-5 successful product developments in each market.
  • Tasks: Marketing policy co-creation, Materials and arguments creation, Multi-channel marketing approach management, Lead efforts to obtain and maintain product registrations, Assist with other R&D projects and commercial operations, Identifying, substantiate, develop and prioritize new product concepts for select geographies, Contact potential clients to establish rapport and arrange meetings.
  • Reporting to CEO
  • Company Overview: The largest fertilizer (AN, CAN, DAP and NPK) producer of Turkey.
  • Tasks: Providing feedback and guidance to 10 post-graduate researchers regarding performance management, Developing new fertilizers and application methods for different crops, and Coordinating an innovation-focused mentorship program (InoSuit) (Partners: Mersin Technopark & Turkish Exporters Assembly).
  • Reporting to Vice President of Research
  • Company Overview: French startup, innovating in business of precision agriculture (sensors for soil management).
  • Tasks: Building communication channels in Brazil, Developing international business strategies.
  • Reporting to CEO
  • About INRA: Europe's top Agricultural Research Institute.
  • Tasks: Lab-scale pectin production, Purification of extracted-pectin samples, Characterization of pectic samples for their composition and macromolecular properties.
  • Project Overview: WallTraC Project is well equipped to dissect plant cell wall & polymer structures and develop analytical procedures required for - and suited to - industrial exploitation.
  • Partners: INRA France, Copenhagen Uni and CP Kelco Denmark, Newcastle and Leeds Uni UK, Lisbon Uni Portugal, Potsdam Uni and Max Planck Inst. Germany, Bayer Belgium
  • Reporting to Deputy Manager
  • Company Overview: Producer of pectin, gellan gum and many other nature-based ingredients.
  • Tasks: Pilot plant-scale pectin production, Functional tests (gelling and stabilizing power) of extracted-pectin samples.
  • Reporting to Innovation Manager

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

University of Nantes, France

February 2012 to February 2015
Faculty of Chemistry and Technology, Major: Biochemistry
-Thesis: Structure and functionality of citrus pectin.

-Abstract: Pectin, a key component of plant cell walls, is widely used after extraction as a gelling agent in the food industry. The study's main objective was to determine the effect of the extraction conditions on pectin characteristics and to apprehend possible structural and macromolecular variations related to citrus sources. Besides, isolating the main pectin building blocks and characterizing them individually gave better insights into this polymer.

Post-Doctoral Fellow (PostDoc)

EIT Food - European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Belgium

June 2020 to June 2021
Entrepreneurial Studies, Major: Agri-Food Research Based Entrepreneurship
-Business Idea: OxyCo has developed a new solution that consists of an adaptable production of sustainable fish feed process whereby combined with innovative new technologies.

-Content: Introduction to business modelling (Forward Fooding, England), The three perspectives of a new business financial model (Nagima Business Consulting, Italy), Network effects and platform economy simulation (Azti, Spain), Emerging technologies (Deusto Business School, Spain), New leader for a new covid times (Fair Saturday Foundation, Spain), Introduction to public engagement (Wageningen University,
The Netherlands)

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Escola Superior De Propaganda E Marketing (ESPM), São Paulo, Brazil

September 2015 to September 2016
Food and Agribusiness Management (Dual Degree)
-Thesis: Digital agriculture market research in Brazil.

-Abstract: Brazil is one of the world's most important exporters of agricultural products. The difficulty in using software and the lack of technical training of farmers are the main factors limiting precision agriculture development. As a primary source, experts in the field have been interviewed to collect critical information. In addition, company websites have been extensively used. Market research methodology (Five Force Analysis, SWOT, 4P Analysis, etc.) has been applied.

-Content: Public strategies and agribusiness policy, Sustainability management in the agribusiness, Disruptive innovation-Trends to the future, Poverty & Hunger war, Orange juice Brazilian international strategy, Vegetables-Distribution centers strategies, Supermarkets traceability, Women marketing action in the agri-society, Big corporations and positioning strategy, Media in Brazil, Bioenergy-Bio fuels , Agribusiness marketing-Sales, Leadership and management, Social media governance, Tributes and taxes in Brazilian agrisector, Meat supply chain and management-Sustainability of animal protein, Analytical profile management data, Food marketing in Brazil.

Master of Science (MSc)

Audencia Business School, Nantes, France

September 2015 to September 2016
-Thesis: French wine marketing research in the USA.

-Tasks: Developing a distribution channel strategy to the United States of 10,000 to 20,000 bottles (counting for 10% -20% of overall production), Designing ''environmentally-friendly'' bottles.

Company Overview: Domaine de Haute Perche is a French family business wine producer in Saint-Melaine-sur-Aubance, in Anjou, Loire Valley.

-Content: Marketing and food business, Operations management, Financial management, Human resources management, Corporate social responsibility, Strategy for agribusiness, Analytical tools, Value chain and performance, Design and innovation, B to B and B to C.

Institutional Exchange (MSc)

Osnabrück University of Applied Science, Germany

2010 to 2011
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Major: Plant Nutrition
-Thesis: Iodine biofortification of vegetable crops.

-Abstract: Two billion people are currently affected by iodine deficiency. Biofortification methods are excellent opportunities to increase the iodine contents of vegetables. The project aimed to determine the effect of different iodine forms and concentrations on vegetable growth and iodine uptake.

-Tasks: Sorting-evaluation of crops, Drying-grinding plant materials and arranging greenhouse trials, Preparation of plant material by alkaline fusion, Determination of iodine concentration by flow injection analysis.

Master of Science (MSc)

University of Hannover, Germany

September 2009 to September 2011
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Major: Plant Nutrition
-Thesis: Observation of the physiological changes in rice leaves after silicon amendment with microscopic techniques coupled with a molecular approach.

-Abstract: Silicon benefits plants, improving the yield and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Rice is a high Si accumulator, triggering suberization & lignification in rice roots. The study's objective was a histochemical investigation of cell wall formations in rice leaves affected by silicic acid supply.

-Content: Theories and methods of research, Biostatistics, Molecular biology, Plant physiology, Genetics and plant breeding, Molecular and cell biology of plants, and Plant nutrition.

Bilateral Institutional Erasmus-Exchange Program (BSc)

Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom

September 2006 to September 2007
School of Biological Sciences, Major: Biology

-Content: Practical field ecology, Biological data analysis and interpretation, Applications of molecular genetics in biology.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Uludag University, Turkey

September 2004 to September 2009
Agriculture Engineering Degree, Major: Field Crops
-Thesis: Current state of biotechnology in Turkey.

-Content: Botany, Zoology, Technical drawing, Plant physiology, General microbiology, Food technology, Field crops, Farm machinery, Soil science, Agricultural insurance, Horticulture, Genetics, Agricultural economics, Landscape design, Farm management and planning, Plant propagation, Cereals, Plant tissue culture techniques, Industrial plants, Pests of field crops, Forage crops, Starch and sugar crops, Legumes, Irrigation & Drainage, Meteorology.

Secondary & High School Diploma

Lüleburgaz Anatolian High School

September 1996 to September 2003
Major: Science & Mathematics with Core Educational Programs taught in English and German as the Second Foreign Language.

-Anatolian High School Acceptance refers to public high schools in Turkey that admit their students according to high nationwide standardized test-TEOG scores.
Awards, Skills and Trainings


  • 2024, British Council Exclusive Professional Training Prize, encompasses a trip to the UK for an Alumni event, exclusive professional courses access, and a yearly British Council digital library subscription
  • 2020, The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) - Food: Foodathon Winner & Innovator Fellowship & Best Business Idea. Partners: Aarhus University (Denmark), Universita Degli Studi di Torino (Italy), and Azti Research Center (Spain)
  • 2020, BİGG (Tekno-Capital Support Program)– TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), Entrepreneurship Multi-phase Programme Jury Invitation
  • 2018, TUBITAK Grant, Principal Investigator. Title: Slow release nano-fertilizer synthesis and characterization. Partner: Mersin University, Turkey. Budget: 2.290.656 TL
  • 2018, TUBITAK Grant, Principal Investigator. Title: Phosphogypsum waste management. Partner: Ankara University, Turkey. Budget: 2.290.656 TL
  • 2018, ERA-MIN (Horizon2020) Proposal Coordination, Principal Investigator. The score (scientific excellence & impact) : 12/15. Title: The comparisons of structural and physicochemical properties of natural zeolites in Europe and associated countries their investigation as adsorbents in waste water management. Partners: Fraunhofer (Germany), CNRS-IS2M (France), CSIC-ITQ (Spain), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania North University Centre of Baia Mare (Romania), Zeolites Group (Romania), DBI-GUT GmbH (Germany), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
  • 2015, Agreen Startup Contest Candidate (Fish feeding with yam wastes), French Chambres of Agriculture, La Roche-sur-Yon, France
  • 2015, Food for Thought MBA Scholarship, Audencia Business School, France & Academic Transcript: 14/15 score
  • 2015, European PhD Certificate & Evaluation of Thesis: ''très bon'' (very good)
  • 2012, Marie Curie Fellowship as part of the EU-funded project The Plant Cell Wall Training Consortium (WallTraC)
  • 2009, Visiting Researcher Grant, BMBF Project in Osnabrück Applied Sciences, Germany
  • 2008, Erasmus Program Scholarship, Royal Holloway University of London
  • 2008, 4 Weeks of German Language School Voucher-Fuu Language School, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2007, Cambridge University Certificate in Work Experience
  • 1996-04, Anatolian High School Acceptance (admits their students according to high TEOG scores in Turkey)


  • 2023, Official Reception Invitation by Turkish Consulate of Munich Süalp Erdogan, in celebration of the Republic Day of Turkey at Nymphenburg Palace in Germany
  • 2022, Queen's Platinum Jubilee Party Invitation by British Consul General Kenan Poleo, at British Consulate General in Istanbul
  • 2022, UK-Alumni Reception Invitation by British Council Country Director Gill Caldicott at the British Ambassador's Residence in Ankara
  • 2019, 10. Bosphorus Summit Invitation (F. President of Germany, Christian Wilhelm Walter Wulf, F. President of Colombia, Andres Pastrana Arango, F. President of Nepal, Madhav Kumar, F. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, F. Prime Minister of Jordan, Faisal al Fayez, Northern Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay, Uganda Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Oryem Okello, Nicaragua Minister of National Policies, Paul Herbert Oquist Kelley, F. Interior Minister of Turkey and Vakıfbank Chairman, Abdulkadir Aksu, Qatar Minister of Commerce, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari participated to this event)
  • 2019, Signing Ceremony of Projects Invitation by T.C. Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and TUBITAK President Hasan Mandal at TUBITAK
  • 2018, Certificate of Appreciation, Women’ s Shelter Foundation in Turkey
  • 2015, Official Reception Invitation by Major of Nantes Johanna Rolland in honor of Foreign Researchers in Nantes, France
  • 2013, Official Reception Invitation by Turkish Consulate of Nantes, France Nedime Yalçın at National Sovereignty and Children’s Day


  • Turkish: Native
  • English: IELTS Score: 6.5; Certification in Business English, Language Specialists International, Portsmouth, England
  • French: TCF Score: B2; Certification in French Civilization: History, Literature, Politics, Culture & Geography, France Langue, Paris
  • German: Goethe-Zertifikat Score: B2

Technical Trainings

  • 2020, Algal biotechnology- Techniques and opportunities for the sustainable bioeconomy. Partners: the University of Cambridge Algal Innovation Centre (UK), Fraunhofer (Germany), and Matís (Iceland)
  • 2019, Understanding soil functions: from ped to planet, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • 2019, Plant stress physiology, Sabancı University, İstanbul, Turkey
  • 2016, Natural algae-based solutions for nutrition, hygiene and health of plants, animals and humans, Olmix, Brehan, France
  • 2016, Chocolate production & Marketing training, Cacau Show, Brazil
  • 2016, Food sensorial analysis, Nespresso Expertise Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 2016, International logistics, Santos Harbor Local Frio, Santos, Brazil
  • 2014, Introduction to industrial pectin production & Regulatory affairs, CP Kelco, Lille Skensved, Denmark
  • 2014, Mass spectrometry & Standards for quality management system, INRA, Nantes, France
  • 2013, Cloning and characterization of recombinant proteins, University of Newcastle, UK
  • 2013, System biology- oriented bioinformatics, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2013, Plant cell walls molecular probes & Ethics, University of Leeds, UK
  • 2013, Plant cell wall architecture & Commercial exploitation of results, Bayer Crop Sciences, Ghent, Belgium

Information Technology

  • Enterprise Management: SAP ERP, Lotus
  • Bioinformatics. SPSS, R
  • Graphic Design: Canva
  • Design: AutoCAD
  • Collaborative Whiteboard: Miro
  • Design Prototyping: Figma
  • Scientific Illustrations: Biorender
  • Content Management: WordPress
  • Typing Speed: 54 WPM
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Mac

Lab-related Skills

  • Microscopy
  • Chromatography (IC, GC, AEC, HPSEC, HPLC)
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Molecular Biology Methods (DNA & RNA isolation, PCR, IEF/ SDS Pages, Ligation, Transformation etc.)
  • Spectrometry (ICP-OES)


  • 2021, AE-IAPDT Team Inventors, Microbial Fertilizer Patent Application. Mycorrhiza based granular product.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Kaya M, Sousa AG, Crépeau MJ, Sørensen SO, Ralet MC. Characterization of citrus pectin samples extracted under different conditions: influence of acid type and pH of extraction. Ann Bot. 2014 Oct;114(6):1319-26. (Cited by 210; Journal`s Impact IF: 5.04)

Oral Presentations

  • 2021, AGRX & Holden Research, Oxnard, California, USA (Microalgae)
  • 2016, European ICT Research & Innovation Proposers' Day, Bratislava, Slovakia (Digital Agriculture in Brazil)
  • 2014, International Conference on Polysaccharides- Glycoscience, Prague, The Czech Republic (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2014, Hydrocolloids Conference, Taipei, Taiwan (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2014, WallTraC Symposium, INRA Paris, France (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2014, Young Researchers BIA, Chambre de l'Agriculture, Nantes, France (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2012, Scientific Days of VENAM Doctoral School, Nantes, France (Citrus Pectin)

Invited Speaker

  • 2023, Ataturk University, Sustainable Agriculture Perspectives, Erzurum, Turkey
  • 2023, Istanbul Kültür University, Design Thinking, Turkey
  • 2021-22, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Summer Course on Food Science, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • 2021, MÜSİAD Vizyoner Star Talks - Money Talks Session, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2021, Hacettepe University Turkey, Food Engineering Club, TechTalks, Ankara, Turkey

Poster Presentations

  • 2024, BioAgTech World Congress, Raleigh, North Carolina (BioControl)
  • 2023, World Biostimulants Congress, Milan, Italy (Microbial Fertilisers)
  • 2021, World Biostimulants Congress, Miami, USA (Microalgae-based Fertilizers)
  • 2013, Plants and People Conference, Potsdam, Germany (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2013, Gums & Stabilisers for the Food Industry Conference, Wrexham, England (Citrus Pectin)
  • 2013, Cell Wall Meeting, Nantes, France (Citrus Pectin)


Non-Scientific Trainings

  • 2021, Oral Communication Workshop, Naós Communication, Paris, France
  • 2019, Horizon2020 Project Writing Training, Tech Startup School, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2018, Kaizen: Lean Manufacturing Continuous Improvement Training, Toros Agri, Turkey
  • 2018, Strategic Planning via Hoshin Kanri Training, Toros Agri, Turkey
  • 2013, Grant Proposal Writing Training, University of Newcastle, England
  • 2013, EU Project Management Training, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2009, Science, Leadership and Responsibility Course, University of Hannover, Germany


Editoral Experience


Startup Mentorships

  • 2022, R&D Competition Jury, Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) IFT Student Chapter
  • 2021, Global Startup Mentorship Program Member, Teknopark Istanbul
  • 2022, Mentor, AKAGİM Women Entrepreneurship Center Istanbul
  • 2020, Mentor, Entrecom

Agro-Blogs (>10K Post Impressions)

Social Responsibility

  • 2023, Agnes-Mackensen-Program Mentor, Technical University of Munich, Germany
    -Empowering women without academic backgrounds to become future leaders, scientists, and startup founders.
  • 2018, Child & Family Development Committee Director, Fenerbahçe Sports Club, Turkey.
    -'Books for Kids' Project promoted children's literacy through book donations.
  • 2017, Philanthropic Writer, Women’ s Shelter Foundation, Turkey.
    -My book 'Absolute Happiness' has been sold in ten countries, and the income from its sales has been donated.



Business Events

  • 2023, Sponsor, NewAG World Biostimulants Congress, Milan, Italy
    2023, Sponsor, New Ag International, Barcelona
    2021, Sponsor, NewAG World Biostimulants Congress, Miami, USA
    2021, Sponsor, Fruit Attraction Madrid, Spain
  • 2024, Sponsor, BioAgTech World Congress, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    2023, Sponsor, BioAg World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2021-24, Sponsor, GrowTech Fair Antalya
    2019, Sponsor, National Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer Conference, Antalya
    2018, Food and Agriculture Summit, Bloomberg TV, Istanbul
    2018, Medical and Aromatic Plant Workshop, Silivri, Turkey
  • 2023-24, Host, Weihenstephan Forum on the Future of Agricultural Policy, Technical University of Munich, Germany
    2023, Host, The World Needs New Proteins AgriScience Symposium, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • 2022-23, Brand Week Istanbul
    2022, Türkiye Innovation Week Istanbul
    2022, The Management and Leadership Summit, University of Bogazici, Istanbul
    2019-20, Business Strategy Summit, Bogazici University, Istanbul
    2019, Leadership Summit, İstanbul University
  • 2021-24, Sabancı University Istanbul International Centre For Energy and Climate (IICEC) Conference
    2021, The FCEM (Women Global Business Leaders) World Congress, Istanbul
  • 2016, Agrishow Fair, Brazil
    2016, The Rungis International Market, Paris
    2011, Agritechnica Fair Hannover, Germany

Part-Time Student Jobs

  • 2008, Children Activities Teacher, F+U Language School, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2007-09, Counselor, YERO International Education, Turkey
  • 2006-07, Cashier, McDonald's, Walton-on-Thames, England
  • 2007, Organic Farm Assistant, Barnham, England

Emotional Quotient (EQ)

  • Red Bull Wingfinder: Openness to experience, innovation, adaptability, balanced learning, discipline, confidence, achievement
  • Predictor of Potential (POP7™): Sociability, systematic thinking, strong listening skills, stress management, self-control, moderate recruiting skills, good training and development abilities, team-oriented leadership, excellent collaboration, high transparency, and strong commitment and consistency
  • -Primary Core Value Innovation: Emphasizing wisdom in assessing and solving situations
    -Secondary Core Value Merchant: Focused on nurturing core values in oneself and others
    Guided by Career Coach Lynn Zettler
  • -ENFJ (Protagonist): Excels in cooperative and supportive work environments, Takes on mentor roles to help others grow and improve
    -Enneagram 8 (The Challenger): Assertiveness, direct communication, independence, courage, protectiveness, high energy, confidence, and decisiveness


  • 2022, Commercial Actress, Project: Nutritab Fertilizer-Ceon Global, CNN Türk
    2018, Hair Model of Dyson & Marie Claire Paris
    2017, Background Actress in TV Series « Ben», France 2, Director: Akim Isker
    2016, Background Actress in TV Series « Prof T », TF1, Director: Nicolas Cuche
    2016, Background Actress in the Movie: « Mon frère bien aimé », France 2, Director: Denis Malleval
  • -Traveling: Explored 40+ countries
    -Dancing: Salsa, Tango and Flamenco
    -Maritime Training Certificate, International Yacht Training Worldwide Istanbul
    -Scuba Diving Certificate, Plongee Passion, La Ciotat, France

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 3.08.1985 (39 years old)
  • Date of Place: İzmir, Türkiye
  • Marital status: Single, no children
  • Open to relocation
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