Medical Microbiologist. Experience. Diligence.


Peg Coleman began serving as a medical microbiologist and microbial risk assessor in the US federal government in 1992, and continued that work as founder in 2010 of the woman-owned small business Coleman Scientific Consulting (CSC). Peg’s assessments all address the extensive gaps in scientific knowledge of microbial risks and benefits in health and disease. She is recognized as a trusted adviser, invited expert, educator, and peer-reviewer for methodology to assess microbial risks, including attendant uncertainties due to limited data that is often ambiguous, fragmented, and indirect. Her unique knowledge and collaborative style supports development of coherent models that reflect not just statistical correlations, but more importantly the complexities of biological systems and underlying causal mechanisms.

Many assessments incorporate her insights from environmental and food chain exposures to pathogens from scenarios for intentional biothreat attacks and natural farm-to-fork systems. CSC work continues to raise challenges to use of outdated conservative assumptions that overestimate risk, underestimate uncertainty, and poorly reflect pathogen interactions in complex biological systems like the gastrointestinal tract. Recent manuscripts in the prestigious journals Human and Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Analysis challenge the outdated assumptions of simple, convenient, but unfortunately, biologically implausible non-threshold models with low-dose linearity as the default for microbial dose-response assessment. These simple models exaggerate risk and underestimate uncertainty, misleading both policy makers and consumers.

CSC work on issues related to the microbiota of milks began in 2014 with a presentation entitled Exploring Disagreements Regarding Health Risks of Raw and Pasteurized Human and Bovine Milk at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) annual meeting. Since then, she has invested time and energy into leadership of a multi-year international project on the microbiota of milks, published five manuscripts, and presented on microbiota of milks at events with SRA Past-President Warner North, including a 2017 webinar entitled Preparing to Deliberate Evidence on Benefits and Risks Posed by the Microbiota of Milks. and a 2018 symposium entitled Communicating Evidence for Benefits and Risks of Raw Milks Click on presentation titles to download slides sets.


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About Me



M.S., Medical Microbiology

M.S., Biology/Biochemistry

B.S., Biology/Chemistry (cum laude)

Margaret (peg) Coleman

From working for the US federal government to launching her own independent consulting firm in 2010, Peg has represented clients large and small for nearly 10 years. Her name is often on the primary author line for microbial risk assessments in prestigious journals including Risk Analysis and Human and Ecological Heath Assessment. Peg is a natural leader and collaborator in multidisciplinary environments, providing a balance of knowledge, intellectual curiosity and people skills that  clients trust. Connecting with the expanding literature on microbial risks and benefits is Peg’s sixth sense.


Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM; 1996 - present)

  • Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) Board of Directors (2018 - present)

  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), Editorial Board for journal Risk Analysis, Member (2006 - 2018)

  • SUNY Upstate Medical University Masters in Public Health Board, Member (2011 - 2016)

  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) Alumni Board, Member (2010 - present)

  • The Society of Federal Health Professionals (AMSUS; 2014 - 2016)

  • Upstate New York SRA, current President

Recent Presentations

  • 2018. SRA, New Orleans, LA, organizer/presenter for symposium on Communicating Evidence for Benefits and Risks of Raw Milks

  • 2018. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Foresty lecture, Microbiome and immunology: Interactions for risk assessors from 21st century science

  • 2017. SRA, Arlington, VA, organizer/presenter for symposium on Evidence of Benefits and Risks for Fresh and Pasteurized Human and Bovine Milks; co-author on Performance-Based Method for Microbial Risk Assessment for Organizations

  • 2017. SRA webinar series on Advancing the Science: Microbiota Informing Next Generation (NextGen) Benefit and Risk Assessment, lecture with introduction by SRA Past-President Warner North on Preparing to Deliberate Evidence on Benefits and Risks Posed by the Microbiota of Milks

  • 2017. Air and Waste Management Association/American Industrial Hygiene Association, Skaneateles, NY, invited lecture, Evolution of Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA): Benefits of Low-Dose Exposures

Selected Publications

  • 2018. Coleman, M.E., C.A. Elkins, B.W. Gutting, E.F. Mongodin, G. Solano-Aguilar, I Walls. Microbiota and Dose-Response: Evolving Paradigm of Health Triangle. Risk Analysis 38(10):2013-2028.

  • 2018. McClellan, G.E., M.E. Coleman, D. Crary, A. Thurman, B. Thran. Human Dose-Response Data for Francisella tularensis and a Dose- and Time-Dependent Mathematical Model of Early-Phase Fever Associated with Tularemia after Inhalation Exposure. Risk Analysis 38(8):1685-1700.

  • 2017. Coleman, M.E., H.M. Marks, R.C. Hertzberg, M.M. Stephenson. Mechanistic Modeling of Salmonellosis: Update and Future Directions. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 23(8):1830-56.

  • 2017. Marks, H.M., M.E. Coleman. Scientific Data and Theories for Salmonellosis Dose-Response Assessment. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 23(8):1857-76.

  • 2017. Coleman, M.E., H.M. Marks, T. Bartrand, D.W. Donahue, S. Hines, S. Taft. Modeling Rabbit Responses to Single and Multiple Aerosol Exposures of Bacillus anthracis Spores. Risk Analysis 37(5):943-957

  • 2010. Coleman, M.E. Reviews of Food Safety Risk Analysis and Food-Borne Microbes: Shaping the Host Ecosystem. Invited book reviews, Risk Analysis 30(5):866-871

  • 2008. Coleman, M.E., B. Thran, S.S. Morse, M. Hugh-Jones, S. Massulik. Inhalation Anthrax: Dose Response and Risk Analysis. Biosecurity Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science 6(2): 147-160

  • 2007. Coleman, M.E., B. K. Hope, H.G. Claycamp, and J.T. Cohen. Microbial Risk Assessment Scenarios, Causality, and Uncertainty. Microbe 2(1):13-17

  • 2005. Marks, H.M., and M.E. Coleman. Presenting Scientific Theories within Risk Assessment, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journa 11(2):271-287

  • 2005. Marks, H.M., and M.E. Coleman. Accounting for inherent variability of growth in Microbial Risk Assessment, International J Food Microbiology 100(1-3):275-87

  • 2003. Coleman, M.E., M. Tamplin, J. Phillips, B. Marmer. Influence of Sub-Optimal Growth of the Enteropathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Risk Assessment, International J Food Microbiology 83(2):147-160

  • 2003. Coleman, M.E. S. Sandberg, S. Anderson. Impact of Microbial Ecology of Meat and Poultry Products on Predictions from Exposure Assessment Scenarios for Refrigerated Storage, Risk Analysis 23(1):215-28

  • 2000. Coleman, M.E. and H.M. Marks. Mechanistic Modeling of Salmonellosis, Quantitative Microbiology 2:227-247