P. Christopher Ellis

Lab Instructor





My advanced degrees in Biological Science and Food Science and Technology are from the University of Rhode Island.  Born and raised in Burlington, Vermont I have lived in Rhode Island since I was 16.  In 2008, I joined Wheaton College after 30 years with the R.I Health Laboratories where I supervised the Food Chemistry Lab.

Main Interests

Instruction, training and supervision of students on chemistry lab experiment theory and procedures.

Other Interests

I enjoy playing golf, baseball and tennis, as well as biking, running and hiking.


Ph.D., Univ. of Rhode Island, Biological Science, 1996
M.S., Univ. of Rhode Island, Food Science and Technology, 1984
B.S., Univ. of Rhode Island, 1978

Research Interests

The majority of my past research involved method development for the chemical assessment of seafood quality, supplemented with in-depth statistical analysis of the data. Other research topics included shellfish sample preparation using optimized microwave digestion, heavy metals analysis of shellfish using atomic absorption and emission spectroscopy, vitamin A and D content in milk by HPLC, and enzymatic analysis of specific components in food products. More recently at the R.I. Health Lab, I worked with the FDA in conjunction with the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) to put methods for the detection of various toxins on-line.  I have authored and presented laboratory experimental research at professional analytical chemistry meetings, and my technical background includes environmental research, wet chemistry and instrumentation, including AA, LC, ICP-MS and GC-MS.

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching general, organic and analytical chemistry labs as well as statistics. To help students connect what they are learning to real-world analytical situations, I like to associate the individual lab exercises with my past laboratory experiences.  It’s particularly rewarding to integrate methods used in the Health Dept. lab into the students’ curriculum.