Curriculum Vitae/Contact Information
Moti Nissani (May 2008)
Ph.D., Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 1975.
B.A., philosophy, psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1972.
Former Academic Employment
1987-2008: Faculty, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies / Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State
1986-87: Faculty, Old College (1980-1987), Reno, Nevada.
1978-80: Research Fellow, Center for Developmental Biology, University of
1977-78: Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University
of South Australia.
1975-77: NIH postdoctoral Trainee, Department of Genetics, University of
1972-75: Teaching Assistant, Departments of Psychology and Biology,
University of Pittsburgh.
March 2003: Visiting Professor, Department of Zoology, Yangon
University, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar).
November 2002-February 2003: Elephant researcher, Kyet Shar, Magu, and
Myaing Hay Wun Logging Camps, Burma (Myanmar).
August-November 2002: Teaching English and conducting faculty
workshops, New Hong Hu First Middle School, 1 East Wenquan Road, Hong Hu City,
Hubei Province, 433200, People's Republic of China.
July-Sept. 2000: U.S.I.A.-sponsored American Studies specialist,
Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal (8
1998: Visiting Professor, Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medicas, Santiago de
Cuba (5 weeks).
1995-96: Senior Fulbright Scholar, Central Department of English, Tribhuvan
University, Kathmandu, Nepal (10 months).
1978-79: Individual National Research Service Award (from the National
Institutes of Health--1 year).
Taught (Number of
As a Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Psychology (2) / Genetics (3) /
As a Member of a Team: Science and Religion (1) / Third World
Perspectives (1) / Development of Western Culture (1).
As a Single Instructor or as a Coordinator of a Team: Biology
Today (1) / What is Science?
(2) / Changing Life on Earth (introduction to biology) (4) / Animal and Human
Nature (1) / Health Concepts and Strategies (4) / Atoms & Stars
(an introduction to astronomy, physics, and the nature of science) (7) /
Introduction to the University and its Libraries (1) / The Cold War and
American Politics (1) / Practical Mathematics: Concepts and Applications (3)
History and Concepts of Mathematics: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (5) /
Living in the Environment
(human ecology) (5) / Critical Thinking (5) / Case for Interdisciplinarity
(1) / Written Communication Skills (freshman composition) (5) / Developmental
Reading and Writing (1) / Interdisciplinary Studies Seminar (3) /
Interdisciplinary Core Seminar (6) / Senior Seminar (2) / Intermediate Reading
& Writing (4) / Media in America (2)
/ Elephants: An
Interdisciplinary Perspective (1), Senior Essay/Project (4),
Capstone Project (2), World War I as a Turning
Point (1), Senior
Seminar: Around the World in One Semester (1), Computers & Society
Graduate Courses Taught
- Interdisciplinary Core Seminar (3)
- Aging (1)
of English / English Reading &
Writing / Introduction to
Biology / Computers & Society / Critical Reading
/ Reading and
Writing / Freshman Introduction to
College and Interdisciplinarity / A Historical
Introduction to Astronomy, Physics, and the Nature of Science /
Around the World in
One Semester (interdisciplinary geography) / World War I
(interdisciplinary history) /
American Studies (conducted in Nepal)
Interdisciplinarity (Cuba and Nepal)
Research Methodologies (Cuba, Myanmar, Nepal)
Teaching of Science (Cuba, Myanmar, Nepal)
Teaching of English (Cuba, Nepal, China)
Refereed Journal & Book Essays
- A new
behavioral bioassay for an analysis of sexual attraction and pheromones in
insects. Journal of Experimental Zoology 192: 271-275 (1975).
- Cell lineage analysis of kynurenine producing organs in Drosophila
melanogaster. Genetical Research 26: 63-72 (1975).
- Gynandromorph analysis of some aspects of sexual behaviour of
Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour 25: 555-566 (1977).
- Cell lineage analysis of germ cells of Drosophila melanogaster.
Nature 265: 729-731 (1977).
study of germinal mosaicism in Drosophila melanogaster. Wilhelm Roux's
Archives of Developmental Biology 182: 203-211 (1977).
- On the
interpretation of mutagenically-induced mosaicism in Drosophila.
Genetics 86: 779-787 (1977).
- (Nissani, M. & Lipow, C.). A method for estimating the number of
primitive cells which give rise to Drosophila imaginal discs.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 49: 3-8 (1977).
- (Nissani, M. & Liu, C. P.). Experiments with the maroon-like
mutation of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetical Research 29:
- (Nissani, M. & Fellinger, K.). A method for studying tissue
specificity of maternally affected Drosophila mutants: mosaic analysis
of cinnamon. Developmental Biology 66: 117-127 (1978).
- (Nissani, M. Brink, N. & Nissani H.). The site of function of the Y
chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster males. Molecular and General
Genetics 165: 221-224 (1978).
- An experimental paradigm for the study of conceptual conservatism and
change. Psychological Reports 65: 19-24 (1989).
- A hands-on
instructional approach to the conceptual shift aspect of scientific
discovery. Journal of College Science Teaching 19: 105-107 (1989).
- A class
exercise for teaching the genetic code. The Science Teacher 56 (No.
3): 76-78 (1989).
- A cognitive
reinterpretation of Stanley Milgram's observations on obedience to
authority. American Psychologist 45: 1384-1385 (1990).
- (Nissani, M. & Hoefler-Nissani, D. M.). Experimental
studies of belief-dependence of observations and of resistance to conceptual
change. Cognition and Instruction 9: 97-111 (1992).
historical, and ethical reflections on the Mendelian paradox.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 37: 182-196 (1994).
- (Nissani, M., Maier, C. L. & Shifrin, N.). A guided
discovery exercise for introductory physics labs. The Physics
Teacher 32: 104-107 (1994).
conservatism: an understated variable in human affairs? Social Science
Journal 31: 307-318 (1994).
of the moon: a guided discovery activity for clarifying the nature of
science. Science Activities 31 (#3): 26-29 (1994).
- The plight
of the obscure innovator in science. Social Studies of Science 25:
- An experiential component in teaching philosophy of science. Teaching
Philosophy 18: 147-154 (1995).
salads, and smoothies: a working definition of interdisciplinarity.
Journal of Educational Thought 29: 119-126 (1995).
conservatism in literature. Literary Studies (a Nepali journal) 15:
flies: a guided discovery illustration of the nature of science.
American Biology Teacher 58 (#3): 168-171 (1996).
greenhouse effect: an interdisciplinary perspective. Population and
Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 17: 459-489 (1996).
apprenticeship approach to writing instruction. Visible Language 30
(#3): 284-313 (1996).
- Can the
persistence of misconceptions be generalized and explained? Journal of
Thought 32 (#1): 69-76 (1997).
- Ten cheers
for interdisciplinarity. Social Science Journal 34 (#2): 201-216
ecology. The Trumpeter, 14 (#3): 143-148 (1997).
coverage of the greenhouse effect, Population and Environment: A
Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 21: 27-43 (1999).
- Can taste
aversion prevent bruxism? Applied Psychophysiology
and Biofeedback, 25 (#1), March 2000, 45-56.
- A bibliographical survey of bruxism with special emphasis on
non-traditional treatment modalities. Journal of Oral
Science, 43 (2): 73-83 (2001).
- Theory of
Mind and Insight in Chimpanzees, Elephants, and Other Animals? Chapter 7 of: Comparative Vertebrate Cognition. Rogers, Lesley J & Kaplan, Gisela
(eds.), pp. 227-261 (January 2004). [No. 4 of Series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects.
Russell H. Tuttle, Series Editor.] Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers:
- (Nissani, M., Hoefler-Nissani, D. Lay, U T., &
Htun, U W.)
Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants. Journal
of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 83:
- Do Asian elephants apply causal reasoning to tool use
tasks? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior
Processes, 31: 91-96 (2006).
(Nissani, M., Hoefler-Nissani, D.) Absence
of Mirror Self-Referential Behavior in Two Asian Elephants. Journal of
Veterinary Science, Vol.
1, Issue 1 (2006).
Nissani, M. 2008. Elephant Cognition: A Review of Some New Experiments. Gajah:
Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, in press.
A Few Recent Alternative Media Articles
Terror Against the Biosphere: English;
Oil Is It Anyway? (Survival Strategies for Iran)
on the Presidential Races of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul
United States Patent 6,164,278, December 26, 2000. Taste-Based
Approach to the Prevention of Teeth Clenching and Grinding.
Lives in the Balance: The Cold War and American Politics,
1945-1991 (1992), 323 pages.
1. (with Donna Nissani). The Inner
Life of Elephants: Experiments in Myanmar and Detroit
(2004). Entire film (in 17 parts) / Read
or download film script2. Video clips of the
dolphins of Laguna, e.g., http://youtube.com/watch?v=ECk0yMifmzw,
1. Nissani, M. & Lohani, Shreedhar P. Adventures in English: An Interdisciplinary
Approach to the Teaching of English, Kathmandu: Ekta Books (1999, third printing), 388 pages
(of which over one-third especially written for this book; a compulsory college English text used
2. Nissani, M. &
Lohani, Shreedhar P. Flax-Golden Tales: An
Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning English, Kathmandu: Ekta Books (2008), approx. 488 pages
(of which over one-third especially written for this book; a compulsory college English text used
throughout Nepal). This is a thoroughly revised
version of Adventures of English (see above). In
addition to the forthcoming hard copy and the new CDs, two sample units, and the entire
pronunciation guide, are available online: http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/esl/
Audio Cassettes / CDs / Online Hypertext
Flax-Golden Tales is accompanied by two
- A Pronunciation Guide.
- Stories and Poems on tapes (a collaborative effort of M. Nissani,
S. Lohani, D. M. Hoefler-Nissani, and P. Chase; also available online at http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/esl/).
Reprinted or Translated Essays
salads, and smoothies: a working definition of interdisciplinarity, in:
Association for Integrative Studies Newsletter, 18 (#1): 4-7 (1996).
- Review of
Stanley Milgram's Experiments on Obedience, in: Writing and Reading
Across the Curriculum, sixth edition, edited by Behrens, Laurence and
Rosen, Leonard J. New York: Longman, pp. 379-384 (1997).
- The greenhouse effect (a condensed, updated, and revised
version of #25 above). In: T. Goldfarb (Ed.). Taking Sides: Clashing Views
on Controversial Environmental Issues. Guilford, CT: Dushkin
(7th edition, 1997). Also published in 8th edition,
- Cuando el
Splint Fracasa: Una aproximación no tradicional al tratamiento del
bruxismo (translation of "When the Splint Fails"). The Orthodontic Cyberjournal
- The plight of the obscure innovator in science.
Infinite Energy: The Magazine of New Energy Technology, 6 (#35):
- When the splint fails:
non-traditional approaches to the treatment of bruxism
(www.oc-j.com/june00/Splint1.htm). The Orthodontic
(last 10 years only)
- (with Donna Nissani). Do Elephants, Chimpanzees, and Dolphins Think? (Reflections on an Unfortunate Paradigm Shift in the
Experimental Study of Animal Behavior). XXXth Ethological Conference,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 15-23, 2007.
- (with Donna Nissani). Are Elephants
Conscious? XXIXth Ethological Conference, Budapest, Hungary, August
- (with Donna Nissani). Do Chimpanzees and Elephants Know that
People See? XIXth Congress of the International Primatological Society
(abstract 0311 of the proceedings). August 4-9, 2003, Beijing, People’s
Republic of China.
- The Plight of the Obscure Innovator in Science. The
International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology
Conference, July 7-10, 1999, Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Why Has the Single Most Important Root of Environmental Decline been
Neglected During the Past Forty Years? Society for Human Ecology, IX
International Conference, Bar Harbor, Maine, October 15-18, 1997.
- Conservation Biology: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Congress of
the Mesoamerican Society of Biology and Conservation, Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
June 23-7, 1997 (abstract of talk appeared in Mesoamericana, 1997, Vol.
2, No. 2, p. 17).
- The Insights of Literature. The Eighth Annual Conference, Literary
Association of Nepal, Kathmandu, February 15-16, 1996.
Robert Theobald, Reworking Success:
New Communities at the Millennium. Gabriola Island, BC Canada: New
Society Publishers, 1997. The Workbook, vol. 23, Summer 1998, pp. 80-81
(also reprinted in Counterpoise Magazine).
Sharon Beder, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism.
White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea, 1997. The Workbook, vol.
23, Summer 1998, pp. 82-83.
John Hart, Walking Softly in the
Wilderness. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1998. The
Workbook, vol. 24, Fall/Winter 1998, pp. 112-3.
Jason Salzman, Making the News.
Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998. The Workbook, vol. 24,
Fall/Winter 1998, pp. 132-3.
Jane M. Healy. Failure to Connect:
How Computers Affect our Children's Minds. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1998. The Workbook, vol. 24, Summer 1999, pp.
52-3. (Also reprinted in Point, Fall 1999, Vol. 10,
Cokinos, Christopher. Hope is the Thing with
Feathers. The Workbook, vol. 25, Spring 2000, pp. 26-7.
- Do Elephants, Dolphins, and Chimpanzees Think?
- The Human
Condition and the Future of Humanity (such as they are!)
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