Vincenzo Ellis

Photo of Vincenzo Ellis
Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology

Vincenzo Ellis

Assistant Professor

Office location:

531 S. College Avenue
247 Townsend Hall
Newark, DE 19716


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Biology, Lund University, 2017 – 2019
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Biology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 2015 – 2017
  • Ph.D., Biology, University of Missouri – St. Louis, 2015
  • B.A., Biology, University of California – Santa Barbara, 2010

Course taught

  • ENWC456/656 – Conservation Biology

Research activities

  • Disease ecology
  • Molecular ecology
  • Evolution
  • Macroecology

Wiedmeyer, Tyler. In Progress. M.S. in Entomology.

In Press/Accepted


31. Ellis VA, Fecchio A, and RE Ricklefs. Haemosporidian parasites of Neotropical birds: causes and consequences of infection. In JA Stratford (ed.) Neotropical Birds. Studies in Avian Biology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

30. Näpflin K​, Becks L, Bensch S, Ellis VA, Hafer-Hahmann N, Harding NC, Lindén SK, O'Connor EA, Olsen MT, Roved J, Sackton TB, Shultz AJ, Venkatakrishnan V, Videvall E, Westerdahl H, Winternitz JC, and SV Edwards. Genomics of hosts-pathogen interactions: challenges and opportunities across ecological and spatiotemporal scales. PeerJ.

29. Austin S, Robinson W, Robinson T, Ellis VA, and RE Ricklefs. Nest attendance by tropical and temperate passerine birds: same constancy, different strategy. Ecology and Evolution.


28. Huang X, Ellis VA, Jönsson J, and S Bensch. 2019. Generalist haemosporidian parasites are better adapted to a subset of host species in a multiple host community. Molecular Ecology 27: 4336-4346.

27. Ciloglu A, Ellis VA, Bernotienė R, Valkiūnas G, and S Bensch. 2019. A new one-step multiplex PCR assay for simultaneous detection and identification of avian haemosporidian parasites. Parasitology Research 118: 191-201.

26. Ellis VA and MD Collins. 2019. Temporal changes in abundance exhibit less spatial structure than abundance itself in North American birds. Journal of Ornithology 160: 37-47.

25. Ellis VA, Sari EHR, Rubenstein DR, Dickerson RC, Bensch S, and RE Ricklefs. 2019. The global biogeography of avian haemosporidian parasites is characterized by local diversification and intercontinental dispersal. Parasitology 146: 213-219.


24. Ellis VA and S Bensch. 2018. Host specificity of avian haemosporidian parasites is unrelated among sister lineages but shows phylogenetic signal across larger clades. International Journal for Parasitology 48: 897-902.

23. Ricklefs RE, Ellis VA, Medeiros MC, and M Svensson-Coelho. 2018. Duration of embryo development and the prevalence of haematozoan blood parasites in birds. Auk 135: 276-283.


22. Fecchio A, Ellis VA, Bell JA, Andretti CB, D’Horta FM, Silva AM, Tkach V, and JD Weckstein. 2017. Avian malaria, ecological host traits and mosquito abundance in southeastern Amazonia. Parasitology 144: 1117-1132.

21. Ferreira Junior FC, Rodrigues RA, Ellis VA, Leite LO, Borges MAZ, and EM Braga. 2017. Habitat modification and seasonality influence avian haemosporidian parasite distributions in southeastern Brazil. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0178791.

20. Fecchio A, Svensson-Coelho M, Bell J, Ellis VA, Medeiros MC, Trisos CH, Blake JG, Loiselle BA, Tobias JA, Fanti R*, Coffey ED*, De Faria IP, Pinho JB, Felix G, Braga EM, Anciaes M, Tkach V, Bates J, Witt C, Weckstein JD, Ricklefs RE, and IP Farias. 2017. Host associations and turnover of haemosporidian parasites in manakins (Aves: Pipridae). Parasitology 144: 984-993.

19. Ricklefs RE, Medeiros M, Ellis VA, Svensson-Coelho M, Blake JG, Loiselle BA, Soares L, Fecchio A, Outlaw D, Marra PP, Latta SC, Valkiūnas G, Hellgren O, and S Bensch. 2017. Avian migration and the distribution of malaria parasites in New World passerine birds. Journal of Biogeography 44: 1113-1123.

18. Ellis VA, Medeiros MCI, Collins MD, Sari EHR, Coffey ED*, Dickerson RC*, Lugarini C, Stratford JA, Henry DR, Merrill L, Matthews AE*, Hanson AA*, Roberts JR*, Joyce M*, Kunkel MR*, and RE Ricklefs. 2017. Prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites is positively related to the abundance of host species at multiple sites within a region. Parasitology Research 116: 73-80.


17. Soares L, Ellis VA, and RE Ricklefs. 2016. Co-infections of haemosporidian and trypanosome parasites in a North American songbird. Parasitology 143: 1930-1938.

16. Ribeiro PC, Souza ML, Muller LAC, Ellis VA, Heuertz M, Lemos-Filho JP, and MB Lovato. 2016. Climatic drivers of leaf traits and genetic divergence in the tree Annona crassiflora: a broad spatial survey in the Brazilian savannas. Global Change Biology 22: 3789-3803.

15. Ricklefs RE, Soares L, Ellis VA, and SC Latta. 2016. Haemosporidian parasites and avian host population abundance in the Lesser Antilles. Journal of Biogeography 43: 1277-1286.

14. Matthews AE*, Ellis VA, Hanson AA*, Roberts JR*, Ricklefs RE, and MD Collins. 2016. Avian haemosporidian prevalence and its relationship to host life histories in eastern Tennessee. Journal of Ornithology 157: 533548.


13. Ellis VA, Collins MD, Medeiros MCI, Sari EHR, Coffey ED*, Dickerson RC*, Lugarini C, Stratford JA, Henry DR, Merrill L, Matthews AE*, Hanson AA*, Roberts JR*, Joyce M*, Kunkel MR*, and RE Ricklefs. 2015. Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 11294-11299.

12. Ellis VA, Cornet S, Merrill L, Kunkel MR*, Tsunekage T, and RE Ricklefs. 2015. Host immune responses to experimental infection of Plasmodium relictum (lineage SGS1) in domestic canaries (Serinus canaria). Parasitology Research 114: 3627-3636.

11. Lugarini C, Martins TF, Ogrzewalska M, de Vasconcelos NCT, Ellis VA, de Oliveira JB, Pinter A, Labruna MB, and JCR Silva. 2015. Rickettsial agents in avian ixodid ticks in northeast Brazil. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 6: 364-375.

10. Merrill L, González-Gómez PL, Ellis VA, Levin II, Vásquez RA, and JC Wingfield. 2015. A blurring of life-history lines: immune function, molt and reproduction in a highly stable environment. General and Comparative Endocrinology 213: 65-73.

9. Merrill L, Stewart TE, González-Gómez PL, O’Loghlen AL, Wingfield JC, Ellis VA, and SI Rothstein. 2015. Epaulet size and current condition in red-winged blackbirds: examining a semi-static signal, testosterone, immune function, and parasites.  Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 88: 11-21.


8. Medeiros MCI, Ellis VA, and RE Ricklefs. 2014. Specialized avian Haemosporida trade reduced host breadth for increased prevalence. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 2520-2528.

7. Svensson-Coelho M, Ellis VA, Loiselle BA, Blake JG, and RE Ricklefs. 2014. Reciprocal specialization in multihost malaria parasite communities of birds: a temperate-tropical comparison. The American Naturalist 184: 624-635.

6. Ricklefs RE, Outlaw DC, Svensson-Coelho M, Medeiros MCI, Ellis VA, and S Latta. 2014. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111: 14816-14821.

5. Ellis VA, Kunkel MR*, and RE Ricklefs. 2014. The ecology of host immune responses to chronic avian haemosporidian infection. Oecologia 176: 729737.

4. González AD, Matta NE, Ellis VA, Miller ET, Ricklefs RE, and HR Gutiérrez. 2014. Mixed species flock, nest height, and elevation partially explain avian haemoparasite prevalence in Colombia. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100695.


3. González-Gómez PL, Merrill L, Ellis VA, Venegas C, Pantoja JI, Vasquez RA, and JC Wingfield. 2013. Breaking down seasonality: androgen modulation and stress response in a highly stable environment. General and Comparative Endocrinology 191: 1-12.


2. Ellis VA, Merrill L, Wingfield JC, O’Loghlen AL, and SI Rothstein. 2012. Changes in immunocompetence and other physiological measures during molt in Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Auk 129: 231-238.


1. O’Loghlen AL, Ellis V, Zaratzian DR, Merrill L, and SI Rothstein. 2011. Cultural evolution and long-term song stability in a dialect population of Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Condor 113: 449-461.

*indicates undergraduate author