A student of Addison E. Verrill, Wesley Roswell Coe
(b. 1869, d. 1960) received his Ph.D. in zoology in 1895, and joined
the faculty as an instructor a year later following post-graduate work
in Europe. Coe’s teaching career spanned 3 decades, and for 16 years he
was Curator of Zoology at the Yale Peabody Museum.
Much of Coe’s scientific research was devoted to the biology and taxonomy of ribbon worms (nemerteans); he wrote several important monographs on this group and described many new species. In 1899, Coe accompanied other prominent scientists to Alaska as a member of the famed Harriman Alaska Expedition. During the 2-month voyage, Coe collected a wide array of invertebrates that were later documented by himself and other zoologists (including A.E. Verrill and Katharine J. Bush, both of Yale University) in a series of large monographs.
After his retirement from Yale, Coe eventually moved to California and was affiliated with Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a research associate. For many years he continued to publish articles on a variety of topics dealing with bivalves and nemerteans. His last paper, a detailed account of bathypelagic nemerteans, was published in 1954.