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Natalie Coe Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Genetics
Division Chair, Sciences and Outdoor Leadership
Director, Biology Program

Ames Hall 115
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
Email Address:
(802) 287-8396; Fax: (802) 287-8080

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."
John Steinbeck

Education and Training

National Research Science Fellow, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Title: A Pharmacogenetic Approach to Clozapine Induced Weight Gain

Chair, The Jackson Laboratory Postdoctoral Research Retreat (2001)
Co-Chair and Mentor, Summer Student Research Program Symposium (2002)

Ph.D. Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus
Lipid metabolism, type II diabetes and obesity

Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
Bacaner Award - most outstanding graduate student
Biochemistry Graduate Student President

Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Certification

Graduate Studies in Writing,  Northeastern University

B.S. Chemistry, University of Vermont

Awards and Recognition in Teaching

Vermont Genetics Network Course Enhancement Award, 2013

Excellence in Community-Based Teaching,
Vermont Campus Compact (Finalist) 2007

American Association for Higher Education 1999
K. Patricia Cross Future Leader Award  

Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year
University of MN (Finalist) 1997

Public Presentations:
From GMC Journal (March 17, 2014)
Prof. Natalie Coe (biology) is a featured speaker at Castleton State College’s Women’s History Month, which this year carries the theme “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.” Natalie is part of a panel which will speak on “Women at Work: Stories of Courage and Inspiration” at Castleton’s Jeffords Auditorium at 12:30 p.m.

Conferences Attended
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Transforming STEM Education: Inquiry, Innovation, Inclusion, and Evidence
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
October 31 – November 2, 2013
San Diego, California

Current Research
The American Beech, a staple species of New England forests, can grow to 100 feet and live for 400 years. Unfortunately, Beech Bark Disease (BBD), resulting from the commensalistic relationship of the exotic and invasive parthenogenetic, woolly beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lind.) and Nectria fungi (Nectria coccinea var. faginata, Nectria galligena Bres.), has spread relentlessly throughout New England (and beyond). Fortunately, even among the most ravaged areas, certain beech trees will stand disease-free.

The 2004 Beech Bark Disease Meeting (Saranac Lake, NY) allowed researchers to join together to focus on the consequences of BBD in our region and to help brace surrounding regions for the inevitable killing front as the disease spreads westward. A lack of information available at the molecular level to explain resistance to BBD and the potential value of this information is clearly evident. My research complements studies currently underway by the USDA Forest Service and other forestry-focused laboratories. The specific aim of my work is to identify genetic and environmental factors that increase susceptibility to BBD. Microarray analyses and 2-D electrophoresis are being used to differentiate patterns of gene and protein expression between beech resistant or susceptible to BBD. Differences will be verified by western analysis and RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction). Environmental assessment  includes: elevation, aspect, slope, curvature, soil analyses, and vegetation surveys. Multivariate discriminate analyses and ArcView GIS will be integral to the synthesis and interpretation of data to evaluate the interrelatedness of genetic and environmental factors on disease state. 

Stopping the spread and propagation of BBD is unrealistic, but increasing our population of resistant beech trees will ensure survival of beech in our New England forests. Explaining why certain beech trees are resistant, and identifying pathways and specific genetic and environmental players, will increase our basic understanding of this pathology and will inform other scale-fungal pathologies, and provide a context for how we should look at forests currently at the killing front as well as those lying in the aftermath of BBD progression. Forests can be repopulated with diverse, yet resistant, beech trees, “screened” for genetic resistance to BBD.

Every aspect of my research involves undergraduates. Students have the opportunity to test hypotheses, learn and become proficient with standard and more complex laboratory and field skills, develop posters, and give presentations of their research both at GMC and at regional  or national meetings. Students are co-authors on presentations and submitted papers.  Research has been funded by the Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VT EPSCoR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Undergraduate Research Assistants (URA)
Kate McNeary '09-10
Ian Foertsch '08-09
Robin Sleith '07-08
Brendan Beaudoin '07
Jen Hertzer '05-06

Independent Research
Jennifer Conrad '10-'11
Olesea Cojohari '11-'12
Kristina Seitler '12-'13,'13-'14
Olesea Cohohari '09,'11
Brenda Nsambu '10-11
Elisa Morales '09-10
Justin Valliere '05-06
Jonathon Roush '07

Honors Thesis in Biology Advisor 
Olesea Cohohari, in progress
Robin Sleith, A Spatially Explicit Study of Environmental Influence on Beech Bark Disease
Gerald Audet, Exercise Perceptions: An Evaluation of Undergraduate Awareness of Personal Health and Fitness
Kaitlin Petros,  Comparison of Oxidative Stress Response for Different Strains of S. pombe Versus Different Techniques of Microarray
Jennefer Hertzer, Self-Efficacy in the Science Laboratory 

Courses taught at GMC

BIO 1000 - First Year Seminar
BIO 1021 - Biodiversity*
BIO 1035 - Disease and Disorders: Humans, History and Hope
BIO 2000 - Reading Seminar
BIO 2005 - Sophomore Seminar
BIO 2013 - Genetics of Human Behavior
BIO 2015 - Cell Biology
BIO 3005 - Junior Seminar
BIO 3019 - Genetics
BIO 3021 - Conservation Biology*
BIO 4001 - Senior Seminar
BIO 4005 - Microarray
BIO 4015 - Biochemistry
BIO 4016 - Bioinformatics
BIO 4053 - Research in Biology
BIO 4099 - Honors Thesis in Biology
BIO 4093 - Teaching Practicum
BIO 6050 - Conservation Genetics (MSES Program) 
CHE 1021 - General Chemistry I*
CHE 1022 - General Chemistry II*
CHE 4015 - Biochemistry
Environmental Liberal Arts
ELA 1013 - Environmental Science*
ELA 1113 Conservation Medicine
ELA 2011 - Biotechnology 
ELA 4000 - A Delicate Balance (senior capstone)

* courses not regularly taught by Dr. Coe 


Teaching Experience

  • 2009-present, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Division Chair - Sciences & Outdoor Leadership,  Green Mountain College

  • 2008-2009, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Division Chair - Sciences & Outdoor Leadership,  Green Mountain College

  • 2002-2008, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Green Mountain College

  • 2002 Instructor, Eastern Maine Technical College: Chemistry (lecture and laboratory)

  • 2000-2001 Instructor, University of Maine, Augusta (University College at Ellsworth): Biology (lecture and laboratory), Anatomy & Physiology (lecture and laboratory)

  • 1999, Instructor (student-teacher), Hamline University, St. Paul, MN
    Mentor: Professor Cynthia Bauerle, Ph.D., Biology (lecture and laboratory)

  • 1999, Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program (LSURP) Seminar Coordinator

  • 1996-1997, Teaching Assistant, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus

  • 1988-1991, Big Sister, Big Buddy Program of Burlington, Vermont

Selected Presentations

Natalie Coe, Brenda Nsambu, Gwendolyn Cramer, Olesea Cojohari. Beech Bark Disease: Genetic Mechanisms of Markers for Management, Society of American Foresters, Spokane, WA, October 24-28, 2012

Natalie Coe and Janet Murray, Mirroring Our Blind Spots: The Essential Roles of Mentorship and Collaboration in Higher Education, 2011 Vermont Women in Higher Education Conference, Killington, VT

Natalie Coe. Balancing; Not Just An Act.  2009 Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE) Annual Conference Registration, Fairlee, VT, October 30, 2009 PowerPoint Slideshow

Natalie Coe and Robin Sleith. When Good Trees Go Bad: Redefining Resistance to Beech Bark Disease. Vermont EPSCoR Annual Conference, Burlington, VT, March 28, 2007

Robin Sleith, Jonathan Roush, Brendan Beaudoin and Natalie Coe. Beech Bark Disease in the Green Mountain National Forest: Survey, Analyses, and Implications. New England Society of American Foresters, Cycles in Forestry, March 20-23, 2007

Natalie Coe, Robin Sleith, Jennifer Herzer, Justin Valliere, John Gallagher, and Adam Adirisio. Beech Bark Disease: Nature and Nurture in the New England Forest. Ecological Society of America, Memphis, TN August 6-11, 2006

Susan Sutheimer, Natalie Coe. Service Learning in the Sciences, Northeast Regional Campus Compact Conference, April 7th, 2006, Nashua, NH

Natalie Coe. Workshop: Ecoquest Adventures for All Ages. New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) Annual Meeting, October 13-15, 2005, Sandwich, MA

Ribarik Coe, N. Beech Bark Disease. American Society of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) June 6-8, 2004, Crawford Notch, NH

N. Ribarik Coe. From the Mouse Room to the Classroom: Bringing Mammalian Genetics to Life. American Association of Higher Education (March 14-16, 2002), Chicago, IL

N. Ribarik Coe, Rob Wilpan, Patsy Nishina, Jürgen Naggert. Accumulation of alpha-crystallin in the retina of Cpefat mice. Fourth Workshop on Mouse Molecular Neurogenetics,
(June 5-8, 2002), The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME

N. Ribarik Coe, Rob Wilpan, Patsy Nishina, Jürgen Naggert. Modeling Clozapine Induced Weight Gain in Mice. Keystone Symposium, Obesity and Regulation of Energy Homeostasis,
(February 24 - March 1, 2001) Taos Civic Center, Taos, NM

N. Ribarik Coe, Bruce Witthuhn, Anne Johnston Smith, Paul Watkins, David A. Bernlohr. The Fatty Acid Transport Protein is a Very Long-Chain acyl-CoA Synthetase. 27th Steenbock Symposium on Adipocyte Biology and Hormone Signaling, (June 6-9, 1999) University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

N. Ribarik Coe, M.A. Simpson, D.A. Bernlohr. Targeted Disruption of the Adipocyte Lipid Binding Protein (aP2) Gene Impairs Fat Cell Lipolysis and Increases Cellular Fatty Acid Levels. IBC Third International Symposium on Insulin Resistance: Mechanisms of Action and Novel Therapeutic Strategies (March 24-25, 1999) Wyndham Hotel, Washington, DC

Selected Publications
Natalie Coe. In Nature and Culture in the New England Forest: Region, Heritage, and the Environment in the Rural Northeast (Editor, Pavel Cenkl), "Life As Beech, Survival in the New England Forest," University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2010

Natalie Coe. The Genetics of Beech Bark Disease: Looking Small to Answer Big Questions. New England Society of American Foresters, News Quarterly, Volume 68, No. 2, p. 8-11 (2007).

Ribarik Coe, N. and Jürgen Naggert, Genetics of Obesity, Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Bernlohr, D.A, Jenkins, AE., Hertzel, A.V., Frohnert, B.I., Coe, N.R., Witthuhn, B.A., Smith, A.J., Johnson, J.D. and V.A. Matarese. Lipid Second Messengers and the Role of Intracellular Lipid-Binding Proteins in Adipocyte Biology and Hormone Signaling (2000) James M. Ntambi, ed., pp. 31-39.

Ribarik Coe, N., Smith, A.J., Frohnert, B.I., Watkins, P.A., Bernlohr, D.A. The fatty acid transport protein (FATP) is a very long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274(51): 36300-36304.

Ribarik Coe, N., Simpson, M.A., Smith, A.J., Bernlohr, D.A. Targeted Disruption of the Adipocyte Lipid Binding Protein (aP2 protein) Gene Impairs Fat Cell Lipolysis and Increases Cellular Fatty Acid Levels (1999) J. Lipid Research, 40: 967-972.

Bernlohr, D.A., Ribarik Coe, N., LiCata, V. Trafficking of Fatty Acids in the Adipocyte (1999) Seminars in Cellular and Developmental Biology, 10: 43-49.

Simpson, M.A., LiCata, V.J., Ribarik Coe, N., Bernlohr, D.A. Biochemical and Biophysical Analysis of the Intracellular Lipid Binding Proteins of Adipocytes (1999) Mol. Cell. Biochem., 192: 33-40.

Ribarik Coe, N., Bernlohr, D.A. Physiological Properties and Functions of Intracellular Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins (1998) Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1391(3): 287-306. 

Curriculum and Research Grants (as Principal Investigator)
2013 (under review) American Association of Colleges and Universities, Bringing Theory to Practice Engaged Learning, Civic Engagement and Development, and the Psychosocial Well-Being of College Students, A Culture of Mindfulness: Practice and Pilgrimage to Promote Psychological Flourishing, $10,000 (co-PI Shirley Oskamp)

2013 NSF EPS-1107945 Improving Connectivity Between the University of Vermont and Vermont State Colleges for STEM Research and Education. $10,400 sub-award

2008 National Science Foundation, Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement,
The Lost Practice of Science: Restructuring to Recapture the Essence of Scientific Inquiry in the Undergraduate Classroom, $122,902 (pending, PI Meriel Brooks)

2006 Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Microarray
Pilot Study ($10,000)

2006 Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Proteomics
Equipment Grant ($26,000)

2005 Vermont Genetics Network (UVM Outreach) Microarray Course ($12,000 equipment/supplies)

2005 Vermont Campus Compact Partnership Grant, Science Advancement Program, $4000

2004 National Science Foundation, Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement,
Problem-based Learning through Coordinated Laboratory Experiences in Biochemistry
and Evolution, $48,254

2004-6 Faculty Service Learning Initiative, Green Mountain College, $400

2003 Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to study
genetic disease resistance among American Beech trees, $10,000





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