Research Interests

​Dr. Ellis's research has focused on understanding changes in benthic biodiversity due to anthropogenic stressors including sedimentation, eutrophication, fishing and offshore hydrocarbon extraction. This includes assessment of impacts of stressors on key habitat forming species and ecosystem service delivery, consideration of multiple cumulative impacts and the identification of marine environmental limits.

Selected Publications

  • Non-sectarian scenario experiments in socio-ecological knowledge building for multi-use marine environments: Insigh...
    R. Le Heron, N. Lewis, K. Fisher, S. Thrush, C. Lundquist, J. Hewitt, J. Ellis
    Marine Policy, volume 67, pp. 10-21, (2016)
  • Bird killer, industrial intruder or essential clean energy contributor? Anticipating the magnitude of perceived ris...
    Klain S, Satterfield T, Sinner J, Ellis J, Chan K
    Ecological Economics 143: 111-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.06.030, (2017)
  • Environmental management frameworks for offshore mining.
    Ellis JI, Clark M, Rouse H, Lamarche G
    Marine Policy 84: 178-192. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.07.004, (2017)
  • Mechanisms and risk of cumulative impacts to ecosystem services: An expert elicitation approach.
    Singh G, Sinner J, Ellis JI, Kandlikar M, Satterfield T, Halpern B, Chan K
    Journal of Environmental Management, 199:229-241. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.05..., (2017)
  • Microbial planktonic communities in the subtropical Red Sea show high levels of spatial and temporal variability sh...
    Pearman JK, Ellis JI, Irigoien X, Sarma YVB, Jones B, Carvalho SA
    Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06928-z., (2017)
  • Metabarcoding monitoring analysis: the pros and cons of using co-extracted environmental DNA and RNA data to assess...
    Laroche O, Wood S, Tremblay L, Lear G, Ellis J, Pochon X
    PeerJ 5:e3347. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3347, (2017)
  • Sediment contamination guidelines: Integration of community information to increase sensitivity of guideline tresho...
    Tremblay L, Clark D, Sinner J, Ellis JI
    Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. DOI 10.1039/c7em00073a., (2017)
  • Cross-shelf benthic biodiversity patterns in the Southern Red Sea.
    Ellis JI, Anlauf H, Kürte S, Lozano Cortes D, Alsaffar Z, Curdia J, Jones B, Carvalho S
    Scientific Reports, 7. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00507-y, (2017)
  • Influence of climate and nutrient over-enrichment on herbivory and herbivore diversity in mangrove forests.
    Feller I, Ball M, Ellis J, Lovelock C, Reef R
    Global Ecology and Biogeography., (2017)
  • Group Elicitations Yield More Consistent, Yet More Uncertain Experts in understanding risks to ecosystem services i...
    Singh G, Sinner J, Ellis J, Kandlikar M, Halpern B, Satterfield T, Chan K
    PLOS ONE 12 (8): 1-15. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0182233, (2017)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Marine Ecology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada, 1998
  • B.Sc. (Honours), Marine Ecology, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, 1992
  • B.Sc., Zoology, Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand, 1990.

Professional Profile

  • 2015: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2015: Hononary Academic, Auckland University, Marine Sciences Institute, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2011-2015: Research Scientist, Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand
  • 2001-2011: Research Scientist and Consultant, Crydium Ltd, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  • 1999-2001: Research Scientist, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • 1998-1999: Post-doctoral Fellow; National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand


  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand, 1998-1999.
  • Doctoral Graduate Studies Fellowship. Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. 1993-1997.
  • Senior Prize in Zoology. (Awarded to top 3 graduates). Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand, 1990.

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Red Sea Research Centre(RSRC)
  • Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)