Chad Scholes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, Biology


Office: St. Ignatius Science Center 220 B

Botany, Environmental Science, Biology Field Trip and General Biology II

Research Interests:
I have several threads of research I am currently pursuing. All of them are tied to who I am as a biologist and teacher. As a field biologist, some of my research is limited to the summer months when plants are growing and flowering.

Prairie Plant Ecology
I studied plant species diversity in prairie communities for my master’s degree and invasive plant species in grasslands for my Ph.D. This is the area closest to my academic training. I am currently studying a reconstructed prairie at the Weldon Springs site, a Department of Energy property that is a former munitions facility. My collaborators in this research are Raymond Franson, Ph.D., and Steven Krabbe, M.S., both scientists at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. I have also recently studied the impact of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) on prairie. This is research that occurs almost exclusively during the summer months.

Selected Publications:

  1. Raymond L. Franson & Chad M. Scholes. 2011. Quantification of Prairie Restoration for Phytostability at a Remediated Defense Plant. International Journal of Phytoremediation 13:sup1, 140-153.
  2. Scholes, C. 2008. Prairie recovery from eastern red cedar invasion. Proceedings of the Twentieth North American Prairie Conference, 20: 73-78.

Oak Tannins
I began studying the tannins from oak tissue, especially acorns and leaves, shortly after coming to Rockhurst University. I have collaborated with James Chapman and numerous undergraduate students.  Most recently my students and I have been documenting the inhibitory action of hydrolysable tannins on bacteria. Previously we studied the impact of a tannin-rich diet on mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) growth and development. This is research I work on during the school year.

Selected Presentations (* indicates undergraduate researchers)

  1. *Grant, Leah M. and *Rensch, Gage P. (Chad Scholes and James Chapman – faculty mentors) "The Effect of Oak Tannins on Gram Positive and Gram Negative Bacteria Growth," Oral Presentation at National Conference on Undergraduate Research, April 3, 2014, Lexington, KY
  2. *Grant, Leah M., *Rensch, Gage P., *Nwachukwu, Linda U., *Weigel, Erin A., Scholes, C.M. and Chapman, J.. Department of Biology, Rockhurst University.  "The Effect Of Acorn Tannins on Bacterial Growth," Oral Presentation at Missouri Academy of Science (Biology/Biochemistry Section), April 20, 2013 in Branson, MO.
  3. *Zanaboni, Christina, *Kaela Severa, *Katheryne Scanlon and *Alan Wilson (Chad Scholes and James Chapman – faculty mentors). 2011. Antimicrobial Effects of Tannins from Several Species of Oaks. Poster presentation at National Conference on Undergraduate Research, March 31-April 2, 2011. Ithaca, NY.
  4. *Sweeney, Matt, *Christine Cortelyou, Chad Scholes and James Chapman. 2009. Do Insects Utilize Ingested Tannins as Nutrients? Poster Presentation at National Conference on Undergraduate Research in LaCrosse, WI. 

I am currently working on a project with several of my colleagues from the biology department on assessing the learning of students in our introductory biology course sequence, general biology I and general biology II. The main focus of the project is to understand how students learn and retain fundamental biological knowledge.

Selected Presentations:

  1. Scholes, C.M. and Felzien, L. "Determining How to Describe Undergraduate Research in a Clear and Equitable Way for Rank and Tenure Decisions," Oral Presentation at National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) Session, April 4, 2014, Lexington, KY.
  2. Felzien, L., Wills, C., Evans, E. and C. Scholes. Assessment of Learning and Retention in a First-Year General Biology Sequence. Oral Presentation at 56th Annual Meeting of ACUBE in Sheboygan, WI (October 19 2012).