Artist-Lecture Series

Ocean explorer first 2020 guest of MSU Texas’ Artist-Lecture Series

Last summer, deep sea explorer Dr. Edith Widder made the news by filming the first giant squid in American waters in the Gulf of Mexico. To lure the squid, she used equipment that she invented that simulates bioluminescence. Off the coast of Japan in 2012, her pioneering technology lured the first giant squid ever filmed.

Widder will visit the Midwestern State University campus as the first Artist-Lecture Series guest of 2020. She will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Akin Auditorium.

An American oceanographer and marine biologist, Widder has used her passion and her expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation to protect the world’s marine ecosystem. Following a 16-year career as senior scientist at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Widder founded the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), a scientific-based conservation nonprofit organization. ORCA is the first technology-based marine conservation association in the United States dedicated to the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems.

As a specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), Widder is a leader in the invention of submersible instrumentation and equipment to enable unobtrusive deep-sea observations. She created the remotely operated deep-sea camera system, known as the Eye-in-the-Sea (EITS), which captured footage of rare aquatic life and filmed the giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time. The historic footage aired on the Discovery Channel in 2013.

Widder graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology. She earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2018, she was recognized with the Explorer’s Club Citation of Merit, becoming only the sixth woman to earn this honor. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.

MSU Texas’ Artist-Lecture Series was established in 1964 and since then has since brought many noted lecturers, musicians, and personalities to the MSU campus and the Wichita Falls community.

Admission is $20 for the public; $18 for senior citizens, active-duty military, and MSU alumni; free to MSU students, faculty, and staff with ID. Tickets are available at the Clark Student Center Information Desk. For tickets or more information, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 940-397-7500.

Related Links

Story and video of giant squid in Gulf of Mexico
Video of giant squid

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