Christine Palmer

Assistant Professor

(802) 468-6417
Jeffords Center
Room 128
233 South Street


Dr. Christine Palmer is interested in how organisms respond to the environment, from the molecular to physiological to ecological level. Her research interests and teaching at Castleton work to help students experience biology from the smallest molecules to ecosystem processes, and students are directly involved in the research in the lab.

Dr. Palmer completed a B.A at Williams College in Biology, learning firsthand the benefit of doing research as an undergraduate in a range of independent research projects from biochemical assays to fluorescence imaging to nucleic acid analyses. She complete a M.S at the University of Pennsylvania in Cell and Molecular Biology investigating the dynamics of DNA packaging and modifications in human cells in response to DNA damage from environmental stressors. Continuing a focus on molecular responses to environmental stress, Dr. Palmer completed a Ph.D. in Biology at Dartmouth College studying transcriptional regulation of metal homeostasis in plants. Her work identified several proteins required for plant survival under limiting iron conditions, typical of soils around the world. As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Palmer incorporated bioinformatics into her research to investigate natural variation in the ability of plants to respond to shade, which represents a limited food situation for these organisms. 

Dr. Palmer's current work continues to focus on the molecular mechanisms behind organismal responses to environmental challenges. She is currently collaborating with colleagues at Dartmouth College to investigate the tolerance of Neotropical katydids to challenging diet sources as a model for human gut health through a combination of field research at the Smithsonian Institute on Barro Colorado Island in Panama and bench research on site at Castleton.


Postdoc, University of California, Davis
Ph.D., Dartmouth College
M.S., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Williams College


  • An N, Welch SM, Markelz RJC, Baker RL, Palmer CM, Ta J, Maloof JN, Weinig C. 2017. Quantifying time-series of leaf morphology using 2D and 3D photogrammetry methods for high-throughput plant phenotyping. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 135: 222-232.
  • Müller-Moulé P, Nozue K, Pytlak ML, Palmer CM, Covington MF, Wallace AD, Harmer SL, Maloof JN. 2016. YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are required for Arabidopsis shade avoidance. PeerJ. Oct 13;4:e2574. 
  • An N, Palmer CM, Baker RL, Markelz RJC, Ta J, Covington MF, Maloof JN, Welch SM, Weinig C. 2016. Plant High-Throughput Phenotyping Using Photogrammetry and Imaging Techniques to Measure Leaf Length and Rosette Area. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 127:376-394.
  • Corwin JA, Copeland D, Feusier J, Subedy A, Eshbaugh R, Palmer C, Maloof J, Kliebenstein DJ. 2016. The Quantitative Basis of the Arabidopsis Innate Immune System to Endemic Pathogens Depends on Pathogen Genetics. PLoS Genetics 12(2):e1005789. 
  • Palmer CM, Hindt MN, Schmidt H, Clemens S, Guerinot ML. MYB10 and MYB72 are required for growth under iron-limiting conditions. 2013. PLoS Genetics 9(11):e1003953.
  • Maloof JN, Nozue K, Mumbach MR, Palmer CM. 2013. LeafJ: an ImageJ plugin for semi-automated leaf shape measurements. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (71)
  • Palmer CM, Bush SM, Maloof JN. Phenotypic and developmental plasticity in plants. In: eLS 2012. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester.
  • Palmer CM, Guerinot ML. 2009. Facing the challenges of Cu, Fe and Zn homeostasis in plants. Nature Chemical Biology (5): 333-40.
  • Argyros RD, Mathews DE, Chiang YH, Palmer CM, Thibault DM, Etheridge N, Argyros DA, Mason MG, Kieber JJ, Schaller GE. 2008. Type B response regulators of Arabidopsis play key roles in cytokinin signaling and plant development. Plant Cell (8): 2102-16.
  • Yu J, Palmer C, Alenghat T, Li Y, Kao G, Lazar MA. 2006. The corepressor silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptor facilitates cellular recovery from DNA double-strand breaks. Cancer Research (18): 9316-22.