Donna Ellis is a Senior Extension Educator in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, where she has worked since 1990. She has a B.S. degree in Plant Science from the University of Rhode Island and an M.S. degree in Plant Science from the University of Connecticut.
Donna is the UConn Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program Coordinator and conducts IPM training programs for nurseries and garden centers. She teaches a course at UConn on agricultural and horticultural plant pests and is involved with educational outreach and applied research programs for insects, weeds, and plant pathogens, with an emphasis on invasive plants and biological control. Donna initiated a Beetle Farmer Program to train volunteers to raise beneficial insects as biological control agents for the invasive plant purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Together with the Beetle Farmers, approximately 2 million beetles have been introduced in Connecticut for control of this invasive species. Since 2009, Donna has collaborated with other scientists to release beneficial weevils for biological control of another invasive plant, mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata).
Donna serves as Co-Chairperson of the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG), a statewide organization whose mission is to provide invasive plant education. The Working Group convenes biennial symposia on invasive plants. She is also a member of the UConn Ornamental Plant Extension Team that presents two annual plant conferences, the Perennial Plant Conference for landscape and horticultural professionals and the Garden Conference for garden enthusiasts of all levels.
Phone: (860) 486-6448