Shiela Reaves is a professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication and also an affiliate faculty member of American Indian Studies. She specializes in visual communication and is interested in how neuroscience supports interdisciplinary theories of visual imagery used in science communication and visual messages in her class, LSC 350: Visualizing Science & Technology. She also directs 12 sections of LSC 100: Science and Storytelling where graduate students are trained to deliver college-level writing to first-year students. Her newest class is LSC 430: Communicating Science with Narrative that explores the effectiveness of storytelling and metaphor in communicating science.
Her interests are enriched as a member of two steering committees that represent vision science, the University of Wisconsin–Madison McPherson Eye Research Institute and the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. She serves on the editorial boards of Visual Communication Quarterly and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. Reaves also serves on the nonprofit educational wing for News From Indian Country.
Her research on the ethics of visual manipulation in the media and attitudes among media editors was published in the Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the Newspaper Research Journal, and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics.