Ela joined SHRA in June 2021, after earning her PhD in History from the University of Houston in 2020. Her dissertation combined practices from history, anthropology, sociology, and environmental studies to provide insights on natural resource management in Mexico City. As part of her graduate studies, Ela obtained a minor in Public History and worked with several Houston-area historic sites and museums to uncover important stories about the city’s diverse culture and history.
At SHRA, Ela conducts research on and writes about a variety of subjects such as navigability of waterways, road and irrigation infrastructure development, Native American land and water rights, environmental contamination, and industrial sites for potentially responsible parties (PRPs). Ela has worked in federal, state, county, and city archives and also conducts oral histories to supplement archival research.