8 Jul 2021

Team Blonk is growing: welcome Mariem, Melissa and Iana

Our pool of skills and talents continues to grow

At Team Blonk we continue to broaden our skills and talents. Over the past two months Mariem, Melissa and Iana joined us. Mariem strengthens our international team of freelancers. Melissa and Iana join our consultant's division. Welcome, we are excited to have you as part of our team.

Mariem Maaoui

Freelance consultant

When I first read the job description for the Sustainability consultant at Blonk, I felt this position is a perfect match for my profile and for my professional aspirations. In fact, after obtaining my engineering degree in Horticulture and plant protection, I chose to pursue a PhD in the field of life cycle assessment. My interest in LCA and sustainability started particularly at the time of the COP21, and I wanted to take part of this movement towards a brighter environmental future for Mother Earth, for us and for the upcoming generations.

I am as well committed to sustainability in my personal life by always purchasing products that are the most respectful to the environment and by trying to make people around me more aware of the importance of sustainability and how they can create a more sustainable world even by taking little initiatives or steps. Working with Blonk gives me the opportunity to reach my professional goals by not only investing in my knowledge and skills but also by developing new skills, more knowledge and learning more and more every day as we are constantly working on projects from different sectors of the agri-food industry worldwide. I am delighted to be part of Blonk as a freelance consultant remotely working from Tunisia and to work with a great team of motivated, kind, helpful and supportive people.

Besides working with Blonk, I enjoy my free time by taking long walks by the beach, playing with my cats and re-watching old movies.

Melissa Smith


Last month I was delighted to join Blonk Consultants and take a step in a new direction. Over my career in the UK, the Philippines and now the Netherlands, I’ve always worked closely with clients. First as a business analyst, and more recently as a sustainability strategy consultant. I’ve chosen to develop my career in positions where a positive impact can be created, and I’m especially interested in providing the necessary tools and knowledge to achieve this. I completed my master’s in Sweden, where I followed courses in sustainable development and environmental sciences, at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences respectively. Subsequently I found I’m highly motivated to combine the theoretical insight I’ve gained, with my experience of real-world application. Therefore, with the impact we can make at Blonk in the agri-food sector, I’m excited to use my skills in this challenge!

In my personal life I take food seriously, from experimental cooking (chili apricot pilaf anyone?) to how it can play a role in integrating marginalized members of our communities. In London, I volunteered at an initiative which aimed to combat food wastage. We collected edible food which would have been thrown away at retailers, and cooked up (delicious) three course dinners as part of community action against food poverty.

I’ve also enjoyed learning about the effect of nutrition on our health during my biomedical sciences undergraduate degree. As such, I remain interested in how we can promote diets which are both sustainable and healthy. Since moving to the Netherlands I’ve definitely caught the cycling bug. Earlier this year my flatmate and I completed the Cycling4Climate challenge on a tandem. I also love exploring the countryside around the Rotte on sunny evenings and weekends. 

Iana Salim


After graduating in Industrial Management in Brazil and working in the area, I realized that I needed to change my professional trajectory to the field of sustainability so that it would make sense with my personal beliefs. So, I applied for a Masters Scholarship in Industrial Ecology, where I spent the first year at the University of Graz in Austria and the second year at the University of Leiden and Delft. After my Masters, I spent the last 4 years doing research at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on the subject of life cycle assessment related to agriculture and food in the Galician region, Spain and also research on sustainability of bio-based products. Throughout this trajectory, I've met amazing and inspiring people from different backgrounds and nationalities.

I believe I am systems thinker, I am always observing and curious about the origins and the relationship of things and how I have great responsibility for my actions. I am very happy to be part of Blonk as it has always been one of my dreams to work in an organization that aims to positively impact society with sustainable solutions. I feel very motivated to contribute to sustainable solutions in the agri-food sector. Besides that, I love spending time in the nature with friends and family, cooking and painting. I recently discovered a passion for gardening, but I still have a lot to learn.