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.
“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.”