Sharon Doty’s research focus is on the importance of the plant microbiome for plant growth, nutrient acquisition, and tolerance to both abiotic (drought, heat, pollutants, salt) and biotic (pathogens) stresses. Doty takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining techniques from molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry. Through her outreach and teaching, Doty emphasizes the ability of natural plant-microbe partnerships to address environmental challenges including agricultural chemical run-off, climate change, and pollution. With funding from the Washington Research Foundation, she and her research team are developing “plant probiotics” to reduce the dependency on chemical fertilizers. She is part of the UW space research program ( and serves on the executive teams of the International Symbiosis Society (ISS) and the International Poplar Commission (IPC) where she serves as Chair of the working group on Environmental and Ecosystem Services (WP5).