Edith Widder is a deep-sea explorer and MacArthur Fellow who combines expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation with a commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation.
Widder graduated from the University of Santa Barbara, California with a PhD in Neurobiology and in 1984 was certified as a Scientific Research Pilot for Atmospheric Diving systems. From 1989 to 2005 Widder was Senior Scientist and Director of the Bioluminescence Department at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
A specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), Widder has been a leader in helping to design and invent new submersible instrumentation and equipment to enable unobtrusive deep-sea observations. She is currently the CEO, Senior Scientist and Co-founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, an organization dedicated to the study and protection of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain through development of innovative technologies and science-based conservation action.