Edith Widder combines her expertise in research and technological innovation with a commitment to stopping and reversing the degradation of our marine environment.
A specialist in bioluminescence, Edith Widder helps design and invent new submersible instruments and equipment to study bioluminescence and enable unobtrusive observation of deep-sea environments. Her innovative tools for exploration have produced footage of rare and wonderful bioluminescent displays and never-before-seen denizens of the deep, including, most recently, the first video ever recorded of the giant squid, Architeuthis, in its natural habitat.
In 2005 she founded the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), which is dedicated to protecting aquatic ecosystems and the species they sustain through the development of innovative technologies and science-based conservation action.; In an effort to protect and revitalize the ocean she loves she has been focusing on developing tools for finding and tracking pollution -- a major threat to all of our water ecosystems and ultimately to human health. She was awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant in 2006.
In 2012, Widder was among the team that filmed the giant squid (Architeuthis) for the first time in its home ocean.
"One of the remarkable things about Edie is that, for a biologist, she is the most technologically savvy scientist I’ve ever come across."Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California
“In the ocean, [bioluminescence] is the rule rather than the exception.”
“The teeth on [the viperfish] are so long that if they closed inside the mouth of the fish, it would actually impale its own brain.”
“It's a little-appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light.”
“Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let's all go exploring.”