University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Heidi M. Dierssen

Heidi M. DierssenHeidi M. Dierssen

Department of Marine Sciences/Geography
1080 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340
Phone: (860) 405-9239
Email:  Website:




  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California, Advisor: John Ryan, 2002 – 2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellow. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. California State University. Advisor: Richard Zimmerman, 2001 – 2002
  • Ph.D., Geography (marine science concentration). Geography Dept. and Institute for Computational Earth System Science,
  • University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, Advisor: Raymond Smith, 2000
  • M.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California, 1989
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, 1989


Research Focus

  • Remote Sensing of Coastal Habitats:  Seagrass, floating vegetation, sediments,  macroalgae, and carbon export
  • Imaging of organismal color and camouflage
  • Southern ocean sources of backscattering:  coccolithophores and bubbles
  • Long Island sound color and exchange:  remote sensing in optical complex water
  • Biogeographical distributions of marine organisms



  • NASA Group Achievement Award 2014


Current Publication

Russell, B. and H. M. Dierssen. Submitted. Use of Hyperspectral Imagery to Assess Cryptic Color Matching in Sargassum Associated Crabs. Plos One.

Brady, P., A. Gilerson, G. Kattawar, J. Sullivan, M. Twardowski, H. Dierssen, M. Gao, R. I. Etheredge, A. Ibrahim, C. Carrizo, Y. Gu, B. Russell, S. Zhao, and M. Cummings. In revision. Better than a mirror: Nature’s solution for open ocean camouflage. Science.

Dierssen, H.M., A. Chlus, B. Russell. 2015. Hyperspectral discrimination of floating mats of seagrass wrack and the macroalgae Sargassum in coastal waters of Greater Florida Bay using airborne remote sensing. Remote Sens. Environ. 10.1016/j.rse.2015.01.027

Dierssen, H.M. and A.E. Theberge. In press. Bathymetry: History of Seafloor Mapping.

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources. Taylor & Francis Group. New York. In press. p. 1-5.

Dierssen, H.M. and A.E. Theberge. In press. Bathymetry: Assessing Methods. Encyclopedia of Natural Resources. Taylor & Francis Group. New York. In press. p. 1-8.

Dierssen, H.M. and A.E. Theberge. In press. Bathymetry: Features and Hypsography. Encyclopedia of Natural Resources. Taylor & Francis Group. New York. In press. p. 1-7.

Randolph, K., H.M. Dierssen, M. Twardowski, A. Cifuentes Lorenzen, C.J. Zappa. 2014. Optical measurements of small deeply-penetrating bubble populations generated by breaking waves in the Southern Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, doi:10.1002/2013JC009227.

Hill, V., R. C. Zimmerman, W. P. Bissett, D. D. R. Kohler, and H.M. Dierssen. 2014. Evaluating light availability and seagrass biomass and productivity using hyperspectral airborne remote sensing in Saint Joseph’s Bay, Florida. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI 10.1007/s12237-013-9764-3.

Mouroulis, P., B.V. Gorp, R. Green, H.M. Dierssen, D.W. Wilson, M. Eastwood,J. Boardman, B. Gao, D. Cohen,B. Franklin, F. Loya, S. Lundeen, A. Mazer,I. McCubbin,D. Randall, B. Richardson,J.I. Rodriguez,C Sarture, E. Urquiza,R. Vargas,V. White,K. Yee. 2013. The Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer (PRISM) coastal ocean sensor: characteristics and first flight results. Appl. Optics. 53(7):1363-1380.

Gilerson, A.A., J. Stepinski,A.I. Ibrahim,Y. You, J.M. Sullivan, M.S. Twardowski, H.M. Dierssen, B. Russell, M.E. Cummings, P. Brady, S.A. Ahmed, and G.W. Kattawar. 2013. Benthic effects on the polarization of light in shallow waters. Appl. Optics. 52(36):8685-8705