Dr. Ellie Sattler-Degler is a paleobotanist and colleague of Dr. Alan Grant. She was also his girlfriend for a short time, and they went on many digs together. When Dr. Grant was contacted by John Hammond, the InGen CEO invited her along as well needing the opinion of a paleobotanist. Once on Isla Nublar, Ellie discovered a species of the plant genus Veriforman that had been extinct since the Cretaceous period. She quickly found something more interesting to focus her attention on, however – a living, breathing Brachiosaur. Like Grant, Ellie was awed and entranced by the dinosaurs that InGen had created, but only at first. She too soon realized the dangers posed by Jurassic Park, especially in the plants. Many of the plants displayed in the Visitor’s Center, chosen by Hammond for beauty, were actually poisonous. This implied that Hammond and InGen were ignorant of the long-gone ecosystem in which these animals came from, and knew little about the organisms they had created. When they went on the park tour, Ellie stayed behind to help the park vet, Dr. Harding, with an ailing Triceratops while the others went on ahead back to the Visitor’s Center. This probably saved her life, as she was not present when the Tyrannosaur escaped her paddock due to a power loss and attacked the Explorer tour vehicles.
After being dropped off back at the visitor’s center by Dr. Harding, Ellie returned to the wreckage of the Explorers with game warden Robert Muldoon. All they found were the remains of Donald Gennaro and a badly injured Dr. Ian Malcolm; Dr. Grant and Hammond’s grandchildren were nowhere to be found. After discovering the second tour car had been destroyed she found evidence that Dr. Grant and the kids survived. Taking Dr. Malcolm back to the Visitor’s Center, they were attacked by the loose Tyrannosaurus but escaped. Later, with the help – and sacrifice – of Muldoon, Ellie was able to access the park generator shed and restore the power through the guidance of Hammond and Dr. Malcolm via Saber Radios, later allowing Lex Murphy to boot up the phones to call for help. Reunited with Dr. Grant, she escaped the island with him and the other survivors.
Some years later, Ellie and Dr. Grant broke up for unspecified reasons, and she married a man named Mark Degler. They had two children, including three-year old Charlie. She and Grant still kept in touch and remained friends, however. When Dr. Grant and the Kirby family became stranded on Isla Sorna, Ellie came to their rescue. She used her husband’s connections in the State Department to send the US Navy and Marines to Sorna, saving them.
Dr. Ellie Sattler/Degler was played by Laura Dern.