Elissa S. Ballman
24321 18th Ave
St. Augusta, MN 56301


M.S. Entomology, University of California-Riverside 2007- 2009
B.S. Biology, St. Edward’s University, Summa Cum Laude 2003 – 2006


University of California-Riverside 2007-2009
For my M.S. research, I evaluated whether blue-green sharpshooters, a common grape pest, is the same species across its entire California distribution. I examined molecular, behavioral, and reproductive aspects of sharpshooters across the state to determine speciation. I independently maintained multiple insect colonies and presented the research in a variety of venues in addition to winning multiple competitions and acquiring funding.
St. Edward’s University 2006
Observed native and invasive ant interactions with Bembecinus neglectus (ground nesting wasps) including nest disruption, prey stealing and ant attacks resulting in death of adult wasps.
St. Edwards University 2006
Collaborated on a research project measuring the vocal repertoire of northern mockingbirds and examined their vocal learning abilities.


University of California-Riverside Entomology Outreach Program
Public Educator 2007-2009
  • Advised the public on pest control strategies for home and garden
  • Participated in community-oriented functions such as: insect festivals, museum events, and educational conferences
  • Educated local school children about insects and incorporated California teaching standards into lesson plans
  • Maintained outreach insect colonies including butterflies, beetles, walkingsticks, roaches and other arthropods
University of California-Riverside
Teaching Assistant: Field Entomology 2009
  • Independently led weekly undergraduate labs
  • Taught pinning, point mounting and proper insect preservation techniques for both soft and hard bodied specimens
  • Assisted students with insect identification using dichotomous keys
University of California-Riverside
Research Assistant 2007
  • Worked in the applied biological control laboratory analyzing behavioral interactions between established and potential glassy-winged sharpshooter parasitoids: Gonatocerus ashmeadi and Gonatocerus tuberculifemur
  • Maintained multiple insect colonies of sharpshooters and wasps
  • Led weekly collections of sharpshooters from the field
  • Supervised several undergraduate student workers in the lab
  • Work required level two quarantine clearance
St. Edward’s University
Teaching Assistant: Biology of Organisms and Populations lab 2005
  • Prepared lab materials
  • Assisted undergraduates with dissections, procedures and identifying aquatic organisms
Banfield Pet Hospital, Austin, TX
Veterinary Technician 2005 – 2006
  • Educated clients on procedures such as vaccines, x-rays, blood work and surgery
  • Conducted initial exams including temperature, respiration and heart rate
  • Performed and evaluated blood and fecal tests such as FIV/Leukemia, heartworms, internal parasites, blood cell counts
  • Responsible for all medical notes
Austin Zoo, Austin, TX
Animal Care Internship & Independent Trainer 2004 – 2005
  • Extensive interaction with primates, ungulates, birds, reptiles, large cats, small mammals
  • Caretaking responsibilities included food preparation, feeding, and exhibit maintenance
  • Prepared and distributed medications, as well as cleaning and treating wounds
  • Solely responsible for the training of an adult African serval
  • Training practices encouraged the serval to become more trusting of humans for purposes of crate shifting and medicating needs


First Place: Poster Competition at Pacific Entomological Society of America 2009
“Are Vibrational Mating Calls of Blue-green Sharpshooters (Graphocephala atropunctata) an Indication of Incipient Speciation between Populations in California?”
First Place: Student Presentation at UCR Entomology Student Seminar Day 2008
“Vibrational Communication in Blue-Green Sharpshooters”
Temecula Valley Wine Society Nancy Johnson Memorial Scholarship 2007
Awarded for entomological research contributing to `the success of southern California’s wine industry.
University of California-Riverside Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship 2007


Ballman, E. S., M. S. Hoddle, and M. Zuk. Vibrational Mating Calls and Cross-Breeding Abilities of Blue-Green Sharpshooters (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) From Two Geographically Distant Populations in California. In Prep
Ballman, E. S., P. F. Rugman-Jones, R. Stouthamer and M. S. Hoddle. Genetic structure of Graphocephala atropunctata (Signoret) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Populations Across its Natural Range in California Reveals Isolation by Distance. Journal of Economic Entomology In Press
Presented Poster “Are Vibrational Mating Calls of Blue-green Sharpshooters (Graphocephala atropunctata) an Indication of Incipient Speciation between Populations in California?” at Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America 2009
Wampler, Elissa S. and David E. Gammon. Aggressive Head-Up Displays in Great-Tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus). The Texas Journal of Science. 59(2):151-154 2007
Undergraduate Thesis: Classical Biological Control and the Fight against Exotic Species. Nominated for the St. Edward’s Capstone Award 2006
Presented: “Vocalizations and Group Movement of Monk Parakeets” at St. Edward’s annual Senior Seminar 2006
Presented: “Vocalizations and Group Movement of Monk Parakeets” at the Texas Academy of Science conference 2006


Entomological Society of America Member 2006 – Present
Entomological Graduate Student Association (EGSA) 2007 – 2009
Graduate Student Representative for EGSA 2008 – 2009
International Organization for Biocontrol-NRS Member 2008 – 2009
UCR Graduate Student Association 2007 – 2009
Texas Academy of Science Member 2005 – 2007
St. Edward’s Academy of Science 2004 – 2006
St. Edward’s Women in Science 2004 – 2006