Chad Scholes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, Division Chair of Natural, Applied and Quantitative Sciences 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 virgiana L.) on prairie.  This is research that occurs almost exclusively during the summer months.


Selected Publications:
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.

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)
*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

*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.

*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.

*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:
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.

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).

Other Interests
Outdoor activities, Boy Scouts and reading