The Trent community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor David Ellis.
Prof. Ellis joined Trent University in 2004 as an assistant professor in Chemistry, later becoming an associate professor in 2008, then acting dean of Arts and Science – Science in 2017. While fighting a courageous battle with cancer, Prof. Ellis enthusiastically took on the role of dean of Humanities in 2019, with the collegiality, wit and optimism his coworkers came to expect from him – and will greatly miss.
Prof. Ellis described himself as a scientist with a passion for the importance of the pursuit of the humanities. Prof. Ellis was the proud originator and coordinator of the University’s popular and innovative Medical Professional Stream. He served as the director of the Centre for Environmental Modelling and Chemistry and was associated with Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods (AMOD) and Environmental and Life Sciences (ENLS) graduate programs. Prof. Ellis served as departmental chair in Chemistry (2009 – 2012), chair of the Cyclical Program Review Committee, was a member of Senate, ans served on departmental personnel and curriculum committees.
Prof. Ellis’ passion for humanities and science was expressed in his own words in his “Meet the Dean” biography for the Faculty of Arts and Science – Humanities. Always available to guide students on their educational and life path, Prof. Ellis’ bio concludes with a message to students: “Ask me anything.”
In Scotland, Prof. Ellis received a B.Sc (Hons.) in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. He completed an M.Sc. at the University of Aberdeen in the study of environmental chemical issues related to North Sea oil extraction. His second M.Sc. was from the University of Toronto for synthetic processes in drug creation. He completed a Ph.D. and post-doctoral studies in multidisciplinary chemistry with a focus on environmental issues.
Prof. Ellis' research focused mainly on understanding the intrinsic properties of polyfluorinated organic molecules and how this leads to novel dissemination in the environment and biological systems.
During his career, Prof. Ellis collaborated and published over 30 articles with European, North American and Asian academic institutions; with provincial and federal government agencies within Canadian and America, such as the Ministry of the environment, Environment Canada, and Health Canada; and collaborated internationally with industry.
Prof. Ellis is survived by his wife, Jane, and children Doran and Katherine.
The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Prof. Ellis’ family and friends, and to all who knew him at Trent University.
A service for Prof. Ellis will be held at Trent University on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of Champlain College, followed by a reception. Visitation will take place before the service from 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. In memory of Prof. Ellis, donations can be made to the Ken Dowe Memorial Medical Professional Stream Prize.
In honour of Prof. Ellis, the flag atop the Bata Library will be lowered to half mast position on the day of the service.