Shimon Anisfield

Shimon C. Anisfeld

Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist in Water Resources and Environmental Chemistry

Mr. Anisfeld’s research aims to understand human impacts on wetlands and rivers in coastal watersheds. His goal is to carry out integrated research that is both scientifically interesting and relevant to management. His current research focuses primarily on the impact of sea-level rise (along with other stressors) on salt marshes - both negative (drowning) and positive (inland migration).  He teaches courses in water resources, coastal ecology, and environmental organic chemistry.

Video: Drowning marshes: sea level rise and the fate of Connecticut's salt marshes

Video: The Drowning Tidal Marsh Mystery

My lab is actively conducting research on various aspects of salt marsh ecology.

Submergence in the Quinnipiac River marshes

The Quinnipiac River’s extensive tidal marshes (brackish and salt) provide a unique ecological and recreational resource.  However, over the last several decades, these marshes have been undergoing submergence and conversion from vegetated marsh to mudflat.

With support from the Quinnipiac River Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, we conducted an experiment in summer 2015 to assess the role of chemical and hydrologic stress on the survival of Phragmites plants in the mudflat area.  In the process, we accidentally discovered that simply enclosing a mudflat patch with netting was enough to allow abundant regrowth of vegetation.  We hypothesize that grazing by Canada geese is preventing re-establishment of vegetation on the mudflat.


A.B., Princeton University;
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology