Ellen received her Ph.D. from the IFA in 2004. Her thesis, Power and Patronage in Medieval Syria: The Architecture and Urban Works of Tankiz al-Nasiri, was published in 2009. Before joining the American University in Cairo in fall 2011, Ellen was employed on a three-year contract as researcher with the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum. Prior to that, she resided and conducted independent scholarship in Yemen; taught courses in Islamic art at NYU, Fordham University, and FIT; and participated in archaeological projects in Jordan. Her research centers on the art and architecture of the medieval eastern Mediterranean and she is currently at work on a book project with the working title Medieval Damascus and Material Culture: Objects and their Imaginaries.