Hisey Earns PhD

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Alumni Hero

Lee University Assistant Professor John Hisey recently earned his PhD in Biology from The University of Memphis.

His dissertation, titled, “Genetic and Demographic Patterns of the Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Across Extended Spatio-temporal Scales,” discusses the genetic patterns in raccoons across most of the U.S. and Canada, as well as demographic and genetic patterns over 20 years at sites in southwestern Tennessee.

According to Hisey, raccoons are abundant and raccoon rabies – the largest wildlife epidemic, which can transmit to pets, livestock and humans – is moving westward from the Atlantic states.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year on controlling pest raccoons and rabies,” said Hisey. “The determination by our study of the distance and frequency of raccoon movements increases the ability to predict and control their habits, aiding in the control of this epidemic.”

Before joining the Lee faculty in 1996, Hisey taught college courses for 10 years. Seven of those years were spent in China, as professor and guest lecturer at several national and provincial institutions.  At Lee, Hisey has taught General, Human and Plant Biology, Environmental Science, Vertebrate Zoology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Principles of Ecology, Special Topics, Research, and Professional Presentation.

Hisey was the founder and sponsor of the Ecology Club, is a sponsor of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society and Missions Alive student service club, and has led agricultural, aquacultural, and reforestation study and work in Haiti. He currently serves as Chair of the Zoology Section at the Tennessee Academy of Science.

Hisey also helped to found and direct an internationally staffed system of private schools in four Chinese provinces and was an area coordinator for University Language Services, an organization placing instructors on Chinese campuses.

In 1990 and 1991, Hisey received the Jilin Province Model Teacher Award.

Hisey earned his master’s in Zoology from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s in Zoology from the University of Washington.

He and his wife Lauren have one son, Nathaniel.

For more information about the research that Hisey conducted, or other research opportunities, contact Lee’s Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at 423-614-8275.

PHOTO: Hisey captures raccoons in live traps for his research.