Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Julie Ellis

Research Assistant Professor

Ecology of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Antibiotic Resistance in Wildlife

Campus Phone:


  • PhD - Brown University - 2005
  • MS - University of Kansas - 1997
  • BS - University of Kansas - 1993

Students underlined

  1. Ellis, J.C., P.J. Bellingham, E.K. Cameron, D.A. Croll, G.S. Kolb, C. Kueffer, G.H. Mittelhauser, S. Schmidt, E. Vidal and D.A. Wait. 2011. Effects of seabirds on plant communities. In: Mulder, C.P.H., W.B. Anderson, D.R. Towns and P.J. Bellingham (eds). Seabird Islands: Ecology, Invasion and Restoration. Oxford University Press, in press.
  2. Alroy, K. and J.C. Ellis. 2011. Pilot study of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli in Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) and wastewater in the Northeast, United States. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 42:160-163.
  3. Mulder, C.P.H. and J.C. Ellis. 2010. Seabird Island Ecology. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). John Wiley & Sonds, Ltd: DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0022557.
  4. Rose, J., R. Gast, A. Bogomolni, J.C. Ellis, B. Lentell, K. Touhey, M. Moore. 2009. Occurrence and patterns of antibiotic resistance in vertebrates off the Northeastern United States coast. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 67:421-431.
  5. Ellis, J.C., M.J. Shulman, M. Wood, J.D. Witman, S. Lozyniak. 2007. Regulation of cross-ecosystem food webs by avian predators on New England rocky shores. Ecology 88:853-863.
  6. Ellis, J.C., J.M. Fariņa, and J.D. Witman. 2006. Nutrient transfer from sea to land: the case of gulls and cormorants in the Gulf of Maine. Journal of Animal Ecology 75:565-574.
  7. Ellis, J.C. 2005. Marine birds on land: a review of plant biomass, species richness, and community composition in seabird colonies. Plant Ecology 181(2):227-241.
  8. Ellis, J.C., W. Chen, B. O'Keefe, M.J. Shulman, J.D. Witman. 2005. Gull predation on crabs in the rocky intertidal and shallow subtidal zones of coastal New England. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 324:31-43.

General Research Interests

(1) Ecology of emerging infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance in wildlife.

Emerging infectious disease events caused by drug-resistant microbes have increased dramatically during the past several decades at a global scale. The vast majority of research on the resistance problem has focused on AR in clinical settings; however, there is growing recognition that resistance acquired outside of hospital settings (community-acquired infections) is a serious and growing threat. As a result of widespread use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, multidrug resistant bacteria and resistance genes have been detected in hospital effluent, human sewage, and agricultural waste. My colleagues and I are investigating whether wild animals facilitate exchange of antibiotic resistant bacteria and AR genes between anthropogenic reservoirs and natural environments.

I am also a Core Participant in EcoHealthNet, a NSF Research Coordination Network (click here). EcoHealthNet is a program for U.S. and international graduate students interested in infectious disease research. EcoHealthNet is a partnership among EcoHealth Alliance, the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, USGS, National Wildlife Health Center, DIVERSITAS ecoHEALTH, the International Association of Ecology and Health (IAEH), the University of Minnesota's Ecosystem Health initiative, the CoHab initiative, and a number of other partners.

(2) Seabird Island Ecology and Restoration.

I am Co-Coordinator of SEAPRE (Seabird Islands and Introduced Predators: Impacts of Presence and Eradication on Island Function), a NSF Research Coordination Network. SEAPRE aims to bring together people from across the world for cross-system comparisons and synthesis of the impacts of seabirds and introduced seabird predators on island ecology, with the further aim of improving restoration plans for islands on which these introduced predators have been or are being eradicated. If you work on seabird islands and are interested in joining the network, please click here for more information or contact me or Christa Mulder (, the PI, directly.

(3) Ecology and Population Biology of Seabirds in New England.

As a visiting researcher at the Shoals Marine Lab (Appledore Island, Maine), my work focuses on the interactions between Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls, their population trends in the Gulf of Maine, and the effects that these two species have on coastal marine communities of New England. I initiated a banding program in 2004; gulls banded on Appledore Island have been observed as far south as Florida. You can read more about the project at my research page through the Shoals Marine Lab and report a banded gull at the Gulls of Appledore blog (click here).

Research Interests by Area

International, Wildlife and Conservation Medicine
  • Coastal Ecology and Zoonotic Pathogens in Marine Mammals