Chiron Graves

A photo of Chiron Graves

Associate Professor


401R Science Complex


[email protected]


  • BS, Xavier University of Louisiana, 1997
  • MA, Xavier University of Louisiana, 1999
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2009

Interests and Expertise

The best way to understand something is to study it. Hence, my research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). I am interested in understanding how people learn science so my lab investigates how students learn science by investigating what conceptions students have about the nature of science and what types of learning experiences influence these conceptions. Research in the cognitive sciences suggest that people develop a greater understanding of topics when they incorporate new information about the topic with the pre-existing knowledge (i.e. preconceptions) they currently hold. Because their preconceptions play such an essential role in the learning process, my lab is committed to investigating student preconceptions about the nature of science in general and the life sciences in particular. The overall goal of my research program is to contribute to our overall understanding of student thinking in science so we can improve our approach to teaching science.


  • BIO 301 Genetics
  • BIO 502 Seminar in Biology
  • BIO 508 Historical Analysis of Biological Investigations
  • BIOT 303 Life Science for Elementary Teachers
  • BIOT 403 Methods for Teaching Secondary Biology
  • BIOT 506 Methods for Teaching Secondary Biology

Publications and Presentations

  • Zamani-Gallaher EM, Graves CW, Luzynski C, and Ford J. (in press). Exploring the relationship of race and gender among transfer STEM students. In R.T. Palmer and J.L. Wood (Eds.), STEM models of success: Programs, policies, and practices in the community college. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Graves CW, Mayleben L, Valasin C, and Spotts W (2013). Science Feud: A verbal alternative to uncovering student thinking. The MSTA Journal, 58 (2), 29–33
  • Ames HM, Wang AA, Coughran A, Evaul K, Huang S, Graves CW, Soyombo AA, and Ross TS (2013). Huntingtin-interacting protein 1 phosphorylation by receptor tyrosine kinases. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 33 (18), 3580–3593
  • Graves CW and Rutherford, S (2012). Writing a Scientific Research ("Testable") Question: The First Step in Using On-line Data Sets for Guided Inquiry Assignments. Journal of College Science Teaching, 41 (4), 46–51.
  • Graves CW, Philips ST, Bradley SV, Oravecz-Wilson KI, Li L, Gauvin A, and Ross TS (2008). Use of a cryptic splice site for the expression of huntingtin interacting protein 1 in select normal and neoplastic tissues. Cancer Research, 68 (4), 1064–73