Lisa Ellis, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Secondary Athletics Certification Officer (ACO)

Associate Professor of Biology

Secondary Athletics Certification Officer (ACO)

Program Coordinator, Biology

Program Coordinator, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Education

  • PhD in Biology, Texas A&M University
  • BS with Honors in Biology, Summa Cum Laude, Sam Houston State University

Courses Taught

  • Introductory Biology
  • General Biology I
  • General Biology II
  • Genetics
  • Global Health
  • Integrating Biological Concepts (Capstone)
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition
  • Research
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Freshman Year Seminar

Teaching Focus

Dr. Ellis’ areas of interest span the breadth of the biology department and include courses for majors and non-majors. She enjoys teaching all levels of students, from introducing concepts to freshmen and honing critical thinking skills and specialized knowledge in upperclassmen. Additionally, Dr. Ellis integrates metacognitive learning strategies into her courses to help students succeed.

Publications

Dr. Ellis’ research focuses on genetic and environmental effects on Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) development and behavior. She has published research articles in several journals including Genetics and Development. Her article in Genetics was selected for a EurekAlert! press release. She is a member of the Genetics Society of America, Texas Genetics Society, Human Anatomy & Physiology Society, and Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.

Articles

Hjelmen CE, Parrott JJ, et al. Effect of Phenotype Selection on Genome Size Variation in Two Species of Diptera. Genes 11: 218. Special edition.

Coggins W, Hamrick D, Ellis LL. The trend of courtship and mating behavior of Drosophila melanogaster fitT15 mutants based on caloric restriction. BIOS.

Ellis LL, Huang W, Quinn AM, et al. Intrapopulation genome size variation in D. melanogaster reflects life history variation & plasticity. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004522.

Huang W, Massouras A, Inoue Y, et al. Natural variation in genome architecture among 205 Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel lines. Genome Research 24: 1193-1208.

Saleem S, Schwedes CC, Ellis LL, al. 2012. Drosophila melanogaster p24 trafficking proteins have vital roles in development & reproduction. Mechanisms of Development 129: 177-91.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. 2011. Socially-responsive gene expression in male Drosophila melanogaster is influenced by the sex of the interacting partner. Genetics 187: 157-169. Press release in EurekAlert! January 2011.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. 2010. Mating alters gene expression patterns in Drosophila melanogaster male heads. BMC Genomics 11:558.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. 2009. Drosophila melanogaster males respond differently at the behavioral & genome-wide levels to Drosophila melanogaster & Drosophila simulans J. Evolutionary Biology 22: 2183-91.

Boltz KA, Ellis LL, Carney GE. 2007. Drosophila melanogaster p24 genes have developmental, tissue-specific, & sex-specific expression patterns & functions. Developmental Dynamics 236: 544-55.

Posters

Johnson A, Ellis LL. The Effect of Turmeric in Alleviating Parkinson’s-like Symptoms in Drosophila melanogaster Induced by Iron-Enriched Diets. 16th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium. HBU, Houston, TX

DeForke S, Abraham S, Ellis LL. Apr 24, 2017. Effects of Sound on Drosophila Behavior and Reproduction. 15th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Mendoza Y, Sheneman T, Ellis LL. Apr 24, 2017. Circadian Rhythms and 15th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Olsen D, Mathew M, Ellis LL. Apr 24, 2017. Aspartame Causes Increased Food Intake Which Leads to Weight Gain and Increased Body Fat in Drosophila melanogaster. 15th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Buckingham R, Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. Comparison of Olfaction in Drosophila simulans and Canton-S. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Garrido K, Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. How Diets Affect Insulin Mutant Drosophila. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Michael H, Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. Effects of Escherichia coli Infection on Adult Survivorship on Slimfast Mutant and White Eyed Drosophila melanogaster Reared On A Protein-Biased Diet. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Nguyen AH, Baker P, Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. The Play of Genome Size on Alcohol Tolerance in Drosophila. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Nguyen N, Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. The Effects of Choline Salicylate on Drosophila’s Insulin Activity and Their Physiology Significance in Individuals at Risk of Type I Diabetes. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Thomas N., Ellis LL. Apr 25, 2016. The Effect of diet on Body Mass and Survival of Diabetic Drosophila. 14th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Nguyen AH*, Baker P, Ellis LL. Apr 2, 2016. The Play of Genome Size on Alcohol Tolerance in Drosophila. Beta Beta Beta South Central Regional Convention. Cedar Hill, TX.

Cardet R*, Ellis LL. Apr 20, 2015. Consumption of Organic-Based Diets Enhances Lifespan and Fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster depending on macromolecule content. 13th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

George J*, Stephen N*, Ellis LL. Apr 20, 2015. Change in Drosophila melanogaster Pupation Development in Response to Changes in Dietary Consumption as Well as Response to Varied Temperatures. 13th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Le K*, Ellis LL. Apr 20, 2015. The Effects of Sugar and Light Exposure on Drosophila melanogaster. 13th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Thomas L*, Ellis LL. Apr 20, 2015. Behavioral Changes in Canton-S and brummer Fruit Flies When Exposed to Different Diets Under Various Conditions. 13th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Varughese J*, Infante J, Ellis LL. Apr 20, 2015.The Effect of Macromolecules on Drosophila Fecundity. 13th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. Mar 30-Apr 3, 2011. Socially-responsive genes & their role in Drosophila melanogaster male reproductive behaviors. 52nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. April 2-4, 2009. fitting it all together: How courtship-responsive genes affect male reproductive behaviors. 36th Annual Meeting Texas Genetics Society, Austin, TX.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. April 2-6, 2008. fitting it all together: How the courtship- & mating-responsive fit gene affects male reproductive behaviors. 49th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. March 27-29, 2008. fitting it all together: How social interactions affect gene expression & behavior. 35th Annual Meeting Texas Genetics Society, College Station, TX.

Neyin RO*., Ellis LL, Carney GE. March 2008. The influence of egghead on courtship in Drosophila melanogaster. Neuroscience Symposium, College Station, TX.

Neyin RO*, Ellis LL, Carney GE. Nov. 7-10, 2007. The influence of social interaction gene-6 (sig-6) on courtship in Drosophila melanogaster. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Austin, TX.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. March 7-11, 2007. Drosophila melanogaster can respond rapidly at the genetic level to courtship interactions. 48th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Carney GE*, Boltz KA, Ellis LL. March 7-11, 2007. logjam is expressed in a small number of cells in the CNS & is required for egg laying behavior. 48th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. Sept. 2-6, 2006. Drosophila melanogaster males respond at the genetic level to courtship interactions. 11th European Drosophila Neurobiology Conference, Leuven, Belgium.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. March 28-April 2, 2006. p24 proteins & their influence on Drosophila behavior. 47th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Houston, TX.

Oral Presentations

Henderson T, Blank ML, Ellis LL, et al. April 26, 2021. Man versus Microbes: Is it really a competition? 19th Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium, HBU, Houston, TX

Ellis LL. Aug 21, 2018. Freshmen Focus: Engaging First Year Students in the Classroom. Professional Development Breakout Session, HBU, Houston, TX.

Eyler JR, Miller Jr, JH, Ellis LL. Feb 16, 2017. Teaching. 6th Annual Presidential Career Symposium. Houston, TX.

Tarone AM*, Picard CJ, Ellis LL, Johnston JS. Nov 12, 2013. Consequences of genome size variation in forensic entomology. 61st Annual Entomological Society of America Meeting, Austin, TX.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. May 1, 2009. fitting it all together: How courtship- & mating-responsive genes affect male reproductive behaviors. Data Blitz Session, 1st Annual Texas A&M University & Health Science Center Faculty of Neuroscience Symposium, Bryan, TX.

Ellis LL, Carney GE. March 2009. fitting it all together: How social interactions affect gene expression & behavior. Student Research Week Competition, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Awards and Honors

For her teaching efforts and service to COSE and HBU, Dr. Ellis was awarded the BEST in COSE award in 2019. She won the 2015-2016 First Year Advocate Award from HBU’s Department of Student Life for her work with freshmen, including teaching FYS. At Texas A&M University, she was awarded the Biology Graduate Teaching Award in 2010. In 2009, Dr. Ellis won the outstanding graduate student poster presentation award from the Texas Genetics Society.

Dr. Ellis currently serves as the Beta Beta Beta SouthCentral Region District II Director and co-sponsor’s HBU’s Iota Omicron Chapter (“TriBeta”). Her research student, Allison Nguyen, won 2nd Place for her BIOL 4297 Research Poster Presentation at the 2016 Regional Convention. TriBeta has won Outstanding District II Chapter (2017, 2016), 1st Place in Chapter E-History (2022, 2021) or History (2019, 2017, 2016) at Beta Beta Beta Regional Conventions. HBU’s TriBeta hosted the 2022 Regional Convention and won 2nd Place for Chapter E-History at the 2022 National Convention. TriBeta won HBU’s Organization of the Year (2016) and Program of the Year (2018).

Because of her professional achievements and her service to the Deer Park, TX community, Dr. Ellis has been nominated for the Felton F. Waggoner Hall of Honor, which is awarded to an outstanding Deer Park High School graduate.

Dr. Ellis has previously held academic and research positions. She taught Introductory Biology I at Blinn College (Bryan, TX), and Insect Physiology as well as Anatomy & Physiology II Laboratory at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX). She was also a postdoctoral research fellow and research assistant in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M.

Additional Information

Dr. Ellis serves as the Chair of HBU’s Institutional Review Board. She proposed the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) in 2019 and helped design Mission: Metacognition. Currently, she serves on the QEP Implementation Plan. Dr. Ellis coordinates the Honors in Biology or BCMB program and manages the Department of Biology’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts (@hbubiology).

Dr. Ellis loves sports. She advises COSE student-athletes, serves on the Athletic Affairs Committee, and plays intramural volleyball. Dr. Ellis was the Rec Sports Volleyball Player of the Week (2019), and her FYS Class won the Dodgeball Tournament (2019).

Dr. Ellis is active in her home church of Monument Baptist Church (Deer Park, TX). She sings in the church choir and during services, plays her clarinet in the ensemble for special events, mentors and teaches junior high and high school students, and sponsors youth mission trips and camps. Previously, she directed and taught the Crossroads College and Career Sunday School Class. She also enjoys writing poetry, playing sports and watching college and professional sporting events.