Lesa Ellis

Lesa Ellis, Ph.D

Full-Time Faculty


Phone: 801.832.2425

Email: lellis@westminstercollege.edu


Ph.D. University of Oregon
M.S. University of Oregon
B.S. Westminster College


I'm a native of Moab and have lived most of my life in Utah. I attended Westminster College as an undergraduate and, at the urging of my professors, pursued a doctoral degree after my graduation. I was fortunate enough to end up with a job at Westminster and have been here ever since. My goal is to repay the transformative experience I had at Westminster by contributing to excellence in education for current Westminster students. I teach a variety of courses across the neuroscience curriculum and work with undergraduates in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Lab. In collaboration with Brian Avery, we have conducted a number of projects examining the potential role of genes in brain functioning, specifically with regard to emotion regulation. I have taken dozens of students to professional conferences over the years to present their work, and have served as a mentor to many students who have eventually pursued additional degrees. In addition, I have worked for fourteen years with the McNair Scholars Program, a federal program designed to help students from underrepresented backgrounds prepare to apply to graduate programs and eventually become professors. I also do presentations about brain development in a variety of venues, including to medical professionals, parents, teachers, and teenagers.


Human brain development, emotion, emotion regulation, anxiety, genetic influences on development, science communication.

Lesa Ellis