New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA


Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Senior Research Investigator, Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Research Areas: coastal ecology, biological communities, humans and wildlife, island conservation, wildlife as sentinels for antimicrobial resistance in the environment
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Working at the interface of land and sea has given me a unique appreciation for the complexities of the human relationship with wild species. I have a strong background in ecology established through a M.S./PhD, and focused on the dynamics of coastal biological communities. During my PhD and postdoctoral fellowship, I used field and laboratory-based experimental manipulations to investigate trophic interactions among marine species, with an emphasis on seabirds as predators and ecosystem engineers.

Globally, nearly 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 km of a coast where they rely on marine ecosystems for their food supply, livelihood, and sense of well-being. However, these dense populations of humans can negatively affect coastal habitats and species. Seabirds serve as valuable indicators of marine ecosystem health. I initiated a decade-long banding study of gulls at the Shoals Marine Lab (Cornell and UNH) to track their population dynamics in the rapidly changing ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine. The gull project ultimately led to me taking the position as Coordinator of the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) at Tufts University. Through SEANET, we engaged people living along coasts in the collection of scientific data (‘citizen science’) from their “own backyards.” SEANET volunteers conduct beached seabird surveys and the resulting data provide baseline information about bird mortality, and can help to detect mass mortality events due to oil spills, algal toxins, and disease outbreaks. Reports of dead sea ducks from SEANET volunteers in coastal Massachusetts gave rise to a collaborative project that I initiated involving 20 different organizations, and resulting in the discovery of a novel virus that affects the ducks. The eider investigation inspired the need for a better system of collaboration to be applied to wildlife diseases in the region.

The Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative (NWDC), established in 2013, provides diagnostic services, expertise, training, and research support to state and federal agencies that manage wildlife populations in the Northeast. Participating veterinary diagnostic laboratories located throughout the region serve NWDC members, which include the wildlife agencies of 8 states (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, NJ, DE, NY) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Northeast Region). The main objective of the NWDC is to serve the agencies that oversee the management and conservation of wildlife species in the region. We also work to have strong relationships with partners in human and domestic animal health under the tenet that the health of all species is inextricably linked.

Antony W. Diamond, Douglas B. Mcnair, Julie C. Ellis, Jean-Francois Rail, Erin S. Whidden, Andrew W. Kratter, Sarah J. Courchesne, Mark Pokras, Sabina I. Wilhelm, Stephen W. Kress, Andrew Farnsworth, Marshall J. Iliff, Samuel H. Jennings, Justin D. Brown, Jennifer R. Ballard, Sara H. Schweitzer, Joseph C. Okoniewski, John B. Gallegos & John D. Stanton Two unprecedented auk wrecks in the northwest Atlantic in Winter 2012/2013 Marine Ornithology 48: 185-204, 2020.

Needle, D. B., Burnell, V. C., Forzán, M. J., Dubovi, E. J., Schuler, K. L., Bernier, C., Hollingshead, N. A., Ellis, J. C., Stevens, B. A., Tate, P., Anis, E., Wilkes, R. P. Infection of eight mesocarnivores in New Hampshire and Vermont with a distinct clade of canine distemper virus in 2016-2017 J Vet Diagn Invest 31: 562-567, 2019.

Ballard, J. R., Mickley, R., Brown, J. D., Hill, N. J., Runstadler, J. A., Clark, D. E., Ellis, J. C., Mead, D. G., Fischer, J. R. Detection of Wellfleet Bay Virus Antibodies in Sea Birds of the Northeastern USA J Wildl Dis 53: 875-879, 2017.

Murray, M., Guo, J., Tizard, I., Jennings, S., Shivaprasad, H. L., Payne, S., Ellis, J. C., Van Wettere, A. J., O'Brien, K. M. Aquatic Bird Bornavirus-Associated Disease in Free-Living Canada Geese ( Branta canadensis ) in the Northeastern USA J Wildl Dis 53: 607-611, 2017.

Jamborova, I., Dolejska, M., Zurek, L., Townsend, A. K., Clark, A. B., Ellis, J. C., Papousek, I., Cizek, A., Literak, I. Plasmid-mediated resistance to cephalosporins and quinolones in Escherichia coli from American crows in the USA Environ Microbiol 19: 2025-2036, 2017.

Shearn-Bochsler, V., Ip, H. S., Ballmann, A., Hall, J. S., Allison, A. B., Ballard, J., Ellis, J. C., Cook, R., Gibbs, S. E. J., Dwyer, C. Experimental Infection of Common Eider Ducklings with Wellfleet Bay Virus, a Newly Characterized Orthomyxovirus Emerg Infect Dis 23: 1958-1965, 2017.

Perlut, N. G., Bonter, D. N., Ellis, J. C., Friar, M. S. Roof-Top Nesting in a Declining Population of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in Portland, Maine, USA Waterbirds 39: 68-73, 2016.

Robertson, G. J., Roul, S., Allard, K. A., Pekarik, C., Lavoie, R. A., Ellis, J. C., Perlut, N. G., Diamond, A. W., Benjamin, N., Ronconi, R. A., Gilliland, S. G., Veitch, B. G. Morphological Variation among Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-Backed Gulls (Larus marinus) in Eastern North America Waterbirds 39: 253-268, 2016.

Ellis, J. C., Bogdanowicz, S. M., Stoddard, M. C., Clark, L. W. Hybridization of a lesser black-backed gull and herring gulls in Eastern North America Wilson Journal of Ornithology 126: 338-345, 2014.

Simonis, J. L., Ellis, J. C. Bathing birds bias beta-diversity: frequent dispersal by gulls homogenizes fauna in a rock-pool metacommunity Ecology 95: 1545-1555, 2014.

Halová, D., Papousek, I., Jamborova, I., Masarikova, M., Cizek, A., Janecko, N., Oravcova, V., Zurek, L., Clark, A. B., Townsend, A., Ellis, J. C., Literak, I. Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes in Enterobacteriaceae from American crows: high prevalence of bacteria with variable qnrB genes Antimicrob Agents Chemother 58: 1257-1258, 2014.

BS (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) University of Kansas, 1993

MS (Systematics and Ecology) University of Kansas, 1997

PhD (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) Brown University, 2004