Curriculum Vitae/Contact Information

Moti Nissani (June 2014)

Bruxism Hypertext


 Homepage ( )

A Revolutionary's Toolkit

Recent Reflections on Slavery, Perpetual Wars, Inequalities, and the Coming Extinction of the Human Race

Selected Academic Writings

Sounds of English

 Elephant Corner


Ph.D., Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 1975.

B.A., philosophy, psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1972.

Academic Employment

2006-present:  Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Wayne State University

1987-2006: Faculty, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Wayne State University.

1986-87: Faculty, Old College (1980-1987), Reno, Nevada.

1978-80: Research Fellow, Center for Developmental Biology, University of California, Irvine.

1977-78: Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia.

1975-77: NIH postdoctoral Trainee, Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

1972-75: Teaching Assistant, Departments of Psychology and Biology, University of Pittsburgh.

Temporary Positions

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 weeks).

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).
Undergraduate Courses Taught (Number of Semesters)

As a Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Psychology (2) / Genetics (3) / Biology (1).

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) / The 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 (4) / 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 (2).

100% Online Courses

Graduate Courses Taught

Free Instructional Hypertexts:

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) /

Faculty Workshops

Recent Invited Talks

Refereed Journal & Book Essays

  1. A new behavioral bioassay for an analysis of sexual attraction and pheromones in insects. Journal of Experimental Zoology 192: 271-275 (1975).
  2. Cell lineage analysis of kynurenine producing organs in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetical Research 26: 63-72 (1975).
  3. Gynandromorph analysis of some aspects of sexual behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour 25: 555-566 (1977).
  4. Cell lineage analysis of germ cells of Drosophila melanogaster. Nature 265: 729-731 (1977).
  5. A study of germinal mosaicism in Drosophila melanogaster. Wilhelm Roux's Archives of Developmental Biology 182: 203-211 (1977).
  6. On the interpretation of mutagenically-induced mosaicism in Drosophila. Genetics 86: 779-787 (1977).
  7. (Nissani, M. & Lipow, C.). A method for estimating the number of blastoderm 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: 159-170 (1977).
  8. (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).
  9. (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).
  10. An experimental paradigm for the study of conceptual conservatism and change. Psychological Reports 65: 19-24 (1989).
  11. A hands-on instructional approach to the conceptual shift aspect of scientific discovery. Journal of College Science Teaching 19: 105-107 (1989).
  12. A class exercise for teaching the genetic code. The Science Teacher 56 (No. 3): 76-78 (1989).
  13. A cognitive reinterpretation of Stanley Milgram's observations on obedience to authority. American Psychologist 45: 1384-1385 (1990).
  14. (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).
  15. Psychological, historical, and ethical reflections on the Mendelian paradox. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 37: 182-196 (1994).
  16. (Nissani, M., Maier, C. L. & Shifrin, N.). A guided discovery exercise for introductory physics labs. The Physics Teacher 32: 104-107 (1994).
  17.   Conceptual conservatism: an understated variable in human affairs? Social Science Journal 31: 307-318 (1994).
  18.   Phases of the moon: a guided discovery activity for clarifying the nature of science. Science Activities 31 (#3): 26-29 (1994).
  19. The plight of the obscure innovator in science. Social Studies of Science 25: 165-183 (1995).
  20. An experiential component in teaching philosophy of science. Teaching Philosophy 18: 147-154 (1995).
  21. Fruits, salads, and smoothies: a working definition of interdisciplinarity. Journal of Educational Thought 29: 119-126 (1995).
  22. Conceptual conservatism in literature. Literary Studies (a Nepali journal) 15: 22-37 (1996).
  23. Dancing flies: a guided discovery illustration of the nature of science. American Biology Teacher 58 (#3): 168-171 (1996).
  24. The greenhouse effect: an interdisciplinary perspective. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 17: 459-489 (1996).
  25. The apprenticeship approach to writing instruction. Visible Language 30 (#3): 284-313 (1996).
  26. Can the persistence of misconceptions be generalized and explained? Journal of Thought 32 (#1): 69-76 (1997).
  27. Ten cheers for interdisciplinarity. Social Science Journal 34 (#2): 201-216 (1997).
  28. Brass-tacks ecology. The Trumpeter, 14 (#3): 143-148 (1997).
  29. Media coverage of the greenhouse effect, Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 21: 27-43 (1999).
  30. Can taste aversion prevent bruxism?   Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 25 (#1), March 2000, 45-56. 
  31. A bibliographical survey of bruxism with special emphasis on non-traditional treatment modalities.  Journal of Oral Science, 43 (2): 73-83  (2001).
  32. 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: New York.
  33. (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: 15-29 (2005).
  34. Do Asian elephants apply causal reasoning to tool use tasks? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 31: 91-96 (2006).
  35. (Nissani, M., Hoefler-Nissani, D.)  Absence of Mirror Self-Referential Behavior in Two Asian Elephants.  Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2006).  
  36. Do Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) Apply Causal Reasoning to Tool-Use Tasks? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Volume 32(1), January 2006, pages 91-96 (a summary is available here).
  37. Elephant Cognition: A Review of Recent Experiments.  Gajah 28 (2008), 44-52.
  38. Do Elephants, Chimpanzees, and Dolphins Think?  (Reflections on an Unfortunate Paradigm Shift in Ethology).  A Talk Given at the 30th International Ethological Conference, August 18, 2007, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


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.

A Bird's Eye View of Contrived Terror (2013):                I.  A Preview               II. Backdrop of Terror              III. The Gladio Conspiracy              IV. 19 Telltale Signs of Fake Terror             V. History: Read it and Learn               VI.  Give me Logic or Give me Terror


Nissani, M. & Lohani, Shreedhar P. Flax-Golden Tales: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Teaching of English (several printings, 2009-2017), 496 pages.  Kathmandu: Ekta Books (an extensive revision of the same authors' Adventures in English, 1996).  Accompanying materials include:


(with Donna Nissani).  The Inner Life of Elephants:  Experiments in Myanmar and Detroit (2004).

Current Project:

  • Documenting the unspeakable crimes of the world's controllers.  In part, these crimes consist of robbing us of the few freedoms and possessions we have left; brutally suppressing and assassinating friends of the biosphere and the people; controlling our every thought and desire; provoking chaos, civil wars, and hunger the world over; and irreversibly destroying the very physical and biological foundations of life on earth.
  • Convincing the few of us who are aware and who care that we must focus more of our energies on the overthrow of our criminal rulers--and far less on documenting their never-ending depravities.
  • Showing that there is only one strategy that has some chance of overthrowing our psychopathic rulers.
  •  Arguing that the world's vicious, self-destructive, oligarchic system ought to be replaced with real democracies.
The questions we face are these:  How do we overthrow our rulers, that is, the likes of David Rockefeller (above), Evelyn Rothschild, and a handful of other monstrously conniving bankers?  And, how do we replace their vicious oligarchic system with . . .    We the People?

Moti Nissani's Homepage