Miss Ellen M. Cherry was appointed second assistant in botany at the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, in 1905, to mount plants for the herbarium (the first assistant in botany was Miss M.F. Daly*). In 1909 she found a new plant species near Grahamstown, a member of the genus of shrubs Lycium (Fam. Solanaceae), which was named Lycium leptacantha at Kew Gardens. Plant specimens collected by her are in the herbarium of the Albany Museum and the Compton Herbarium in Cape Town.
By 1910 Miss Cherry - presumably her - had commenced the rearrangement of the moth collection of the Albany Museum in accordance with that of the British Museum. By the next year she was in charge of the insect collection. According to the museum's director, Dr John Hewitt*, she assiduously collected local insects, particularly less conspicuous species, to add to the museum's collections.
By 1915 Miss Cherry had become insane and appears to have remained so for the rest of her life. She died in the Fort England Mental Hospital, Grahamstown.