CEO, Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies CEO, Symbiogenics Affiliate Associate Professor, Biology, University of Washington,

Dr. Rodriguez is a microbiologist who has studied symbiotic interactions between plants and endophytic fungi for more than 25 years. He obtained a PhD in Microbial Physiology from Oregon State University and spent time doing postdoctoral work in Plant Pathology at Cornell University before taking a faculty position at the University of California, Riverside.  Currently the CEO of a for profit (Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies) a nonprofit (Symbiogenics) company dedicated to the generation of symbiotic technologies and scientific knowledge relating to sustainable agriculture and natural resources, renewable energy, invasive species, habitat restoration and mitigating impacts of climate change. 
 
Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies has developed a new line of microbial seed treatments, BioEnsure®, to mitigate impacts of climate change in agriculture.  Field tests across the U.S. have demonstrated that BioEnsure® confers drought and salt tolerance to crop plants, increasing yields up to 85% compared to plants without endophytes.
 
Basic research undertaken by Symbiogenics ranges from studies on mechanisms of plant stress tolerance to determining how species become invasive in non-native habitats.  These studies involve ecological, molecular and physiological approaches and have resulted in the discovery that endophytic fungi adapt plants to abiotic stress rather than the plants themselves.  In fact, without the appropriate endophytes plants do not survive in the habitats to which they are adapted.