A paleobotanist who was working on the field in Wyoming with her partner, Alan Grant, when John Hammond arrived by helicopter and offered them a chance to visit his new amusement park in return for three years of funding for their dig. Upon arriving on Isla Nublar with Alan, John, Dr Ian Malcolm and lawyer Donald Gennaro, Ellie noticed extinct plants were growing on the island, and was shocked further upon discovering that there were living dinosaurs on the island, viewing the park’s Brachiosaurus. The guests were toured through the Visitor’s Center, where they witness the birth of a Velociraptor, and are then shown to the Velociraptor paddock and meet Robert Muldoon. The group discuss the philosophical ideals of the Park over dinner, before setting off on a tour of the Park with Hammond’s grandchildren, Tim and Alexis. Ellie travels in a vehicle with Alan and Ian; the latter flirts continuously with her while explaining Chaos Theory. After a disappointing start to the tour, Alan and Ellie leave their vehicle to see a sick Triceratops. Ellie diagnoses its problem, and decides to stay with it and Gerry Harding, a Park vet, while the others continue the tour. Gerry drops her off at the Visitor’s Center before leaving Isla Nublar; when the fences are deactivated and the Park’s Tyrannosaurus attacks the visitors, Ellie and Muldoon set off to search for Tim and Lex, but only find Ian and the remains of Gennaro. They leave in their jeep, chased by the Tyrannosaurus. The next day, Ellie and Muldoon leave to the maintenance shed to re-power the fences; the pair are hunted by Velociraptors, and Muldoon chooses to hold them up while Ellie continues to the shed. She reactivates the fences, almost killing Tim accidentally in the process, and is then chased out of the shed by a Raptor, which she locks in the shed. She returns to the Visitor’s Center to find Alan, and the pair meet up with Tim and Lex and re-boot the systems, before escaping from one of the Raptors by crawling through the ventilation system; however, they end up falling through, onto the skeletons in the Visitor’s Center main hall. The Raptors surround them, but just as they’re about to be attacked, the Tyrannosaurus breaks in and fights the Raptors; the group escape and leave the island by helicopter.
Ellie and Alan are later sent back to Isla Nublar to help the army with any information they require on the animals as they try to clear up the island. Agitated by General West and Dr Fischer, the pair head to the western side of the island, believing that any surviving Raptors would be hiding their. The pair flirts, before entering a cave by the shore. Here, they investigate before being attacked by George Lawala, a hunter-for-hire, who chases the pair until the three of them come across a mother Raptor and her five children. Lawala kills the mother while Ellie and Alan escape, but he later fights with and captures both of them, taking them, along with the Raptors, onto a cargo ship. The pair wake up in a cage and try to break out using Alan’s belt-buckle, finding that the Raptors (in a separate cage) are doing the same with their claws. Lawala, however, confronts them, and sprays them with a knockout gas. They awaken once more on a cargo plane, still in their cages, and find that the Raptors have already broken out and are encircling the cage. The Raptors, however, cannot break in as the buckle of Alan’s belt is stuck in the cage’s lock. Lawala goes to investigate the movement of the plane that is being caused by the Raptors and decides to free Alan and Ellie so that they can help him hunt the dinosaurs. Ellie comes across the dead bodies of Lawala, Brennan (the pilot) and the Raptor that attacked them, which Lawala had shot; Ellie cannot bring herself to kill it, and instead makes a loose tourniquet around its wound. She meets up with Alan, and the pair realise that they must pilot the plane (as Lawala and Brennan are dead and the Raptors in the crate are causing too much motion for the autopilot to work with). Alan fails to pilot the plane, and it crashes into a jungle below.
Apparently, Ellie awoke at one point during her recovery in Rafael’s secret hideout, but was knocked out again; when she confronts him about it, he states that she would do herself injury. Rafael keeps Ellie and Alan hostage so that they could serve as experts on the captive Raptors which Rafael is training to be his hounds; he also has them tend to the injured Raptor, who had survived thanks to Ellie’s makeshift tourniquet. The pair grow close to the Raptors, going so far as to name them (Alf, Betty and Celia); however, Alf and Betty foil Ellie and Alan’s escape. When the Raptors themselves ultimately break out, Alan and Ellie run for it; Celia stops Alf and Betty from attacking them, in thanks for the pair helping her when wounded. The two eventually reach a town, where Ian and Muldoon were about to head out from to look for them, and they explain what has happened. They set off into the jungle again to capture the Raptors, but when they have a sight on them, a group of Native Americans disrupts them and the Raptors attack. Alf and Betty prepare to attack Ellie, against Celia’s wishes, and Alan shoots Betty to save Ellie. Alf and Celia escape.
In pursuit of Celia and Alf, Ellie, Muldoon and Grant survey the jungle by helicopter to attempt to detect the raptors from the air. After Muldoon sights a Gorilla and attempts to investigate, the group landing to attempt to follow its trail. Ellie departs through the jungle with a backpack, which she promptly loses after being abducted by the Gorilla. However, as the Gorilla attacks the raptors, Ellie uses her opportunity to escape and rejoin the group.
As they regroup, Ellie and the others are attacked by a Biosyn Helicopter which attempts to kill them with machine gun fire. As they needed to attend to a sick Ian Malcolm, Ellie and the group encountered a tribe of Indians who took care of him, and allowed them to rest. She later flirts with Ian Malcolm, kissing him-but affirming that she still is committed to a relationship with Grant.
Upon encountering the raptor enclosure that Biosyn built, she is witness to the breach of the enclosure. She also survives a confrontation between the raptors and the Biosyn agents, watching the slaughter. However, the raptors spare her and Malcolm, and they are shortly rescued by helicopter. Afterward, the group rests in Venezuela, contemplating the eventual fate of the raptors.