Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series

Friday, August 6, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Here Be Monsters: Exploring the Edge of the Map

By Dr. Edith Widder, Ocean Research and Conservation Association

Explore the mysterious world beyond the reach of sunlight in the deep sea where giants dwell. Share rare sightings and spectacular living light shows.

Dr. Edith Widder is a deep-sea explorer, oceanographer, marine biologist, and co-founder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association. She has made hundreds of deep-sea submersible dives into the dark ocean and was the first to capture video recordings of bioluminescent animals and the first to film the giant squid in its natural habitat. She creates and invents methods and apparatus that help facilitate ocean exploration. She has spoken at TED and has been featured in BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel and National Geographic television productions. Most recently she has published a book about her adventures entitled “Below the Edge of Darkness. (A Memoir of Exploring Light and Life in the Deep Sea).” Published by Random House.

Edie’s career in deep-sea exploration has brought her wide acclaim. In 2012 she captured the first video of the giant squid Architeuthis filmed in the deep sea using a stealth camera of her own design. In 2019 she repeated the feat, filming a giant squid in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2018 she stood beside Astronaut Jim Lovell and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the Explorers Club in New York to receive the prestigious Citation of Merit for outstanding exploration. In 2020, it was announced that she is to receive the inaugural Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration from the Marine Technology Society and the Society for Underwater Technology recognizing her outstanding, sustained, international contribution to the advancement of ocean exploration.

Dr. Edie Widder is CEO and Senior Scientist at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (, a not-for-profit she helped found in 2005 to help save the ocean she has spent most of her career exploring. Since founding ORCA, she has focused on results-oriented, science-based solutions to ocean conservation challenges for which she was awarded a MacArthur genius grant in 2008. She has focused her passion for saving the ocean into determining what is needed to preserve and protect the ocean’s most precious real estate – its nurseries – and is currently working on developing a citizen science center inspiring the next generation of ocean stewards and ocean explorers.



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