Sharon Doty looks for green solutions to pressing environmental issues — literally. As a microbiologist, she studies plant-microbe interactions, working to show, for example, how plants can help remove harmful pollutants from soils, or how natural microbial symbionts can help plants grow in nitrogen-poor environments (which is more sustainable than using fertilizers), or how biofuels can be manufactured more efficiently. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to these questions, combining techniques from molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry. With funding from the USDA/NIFA program, she and her research team are working to mitigate the impacts of climate change in agriculture and forestry. And with her interest in biofuels, she is one of the faculty in the USDA/AFRI-funded Advanced Hardwood Biofuels NW, a project to develop biofuels from hybrid poplar trees. She chairs a United Nations program on the use of poplar and willow trees for a variety of environmental applications including bioenergy, pollutant removal, erosion control, and protection of waterways. Doty is also the Vice President of the International Symbiosis Society.