Morrissette was born and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area and studied biology as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. He went to graduate school to study Human Physiology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and received his PhD in 1995. During his thesis research, he characterized the paralytic actions of peptide toxins isolated from venomous scorpions and lizards.
In 1996, Morrissette joined the staff of Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station where he began his studies that continue today into the biochemical and physiological specializations associated with heat generation (thermogenesis) and high metabolic rates. The broad objective of this research program is to increase our understanding of the evolution of endothermy and high metabolic rates and their linkages to organismalperformance and habitat utilization. He is a member of the American Physiological Society and the Biophysical Society.
Outside the classroom and laboratory, Morrissette enjoys bicycling and the outdoors. He has a love for athletics and spends much of his free time playing sports with his two young children.