Artist-Lecture Series


Founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA)
Expert on Bioluminescence and the Design of Deep-Sea Observation Equipment

Dr. Edith “Edie” Widder is a biologist and deep-sea explorer with a passion for applying her expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation to protect the world’s marine ecosystem.

As a specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), Dr. Widder is a leader in the invention of new submersible instrumentation and equipment to enable unobtrusive deep-sea observations. She created a remotely operated deep-sea camera system, known as the Eye-in-the-Sea (EITS), which has captured footage of rare aquatic life and in 2012, Dr. Widder and her team filmed the giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time. The historic footage aired on the Discovery Channel in 2013.

Following a 16-year career as a senior scientist at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Dr. 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.

Dr. Widder graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University where she received her B.S. in Biology. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2018, Dr. Widder was recognized with the Explorer’s Club Citation of Merit, becoming only the 6th woman to earn this honor.

Free for MSU students, faculty, and staff (with MSU ID)
General admission $20
Alumni/Senior/Military admission $18
Office of Student Affairs • 940-397-7500
Tickets available at the Clark Student Center Information Desk. To request disability accommodation, contact Disability Support Services at 940-397-4140.

About the Series

The Artist-Lecture Series was established at Midwestern State University in 1964 to enhance the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the campus and the Wichita Falls community. The Series brings to campus outstanding lecturers and artists who have achieved national and international acclaim in their respective areas. Recent years’ events have included Pentatonix, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Cpt. Sig Hansen, Ben Stein, Bob Dole, Vanessa Carlton, Jeff Corwin, Elizabeth Smart, Dr. Michio Kaku, the Harlem Gospel Choir, and many more.

Any current MSU students who would like to become a member of the Artist-Lecture Series Committee are encouraged to complete an online application. Members are responsible for the selection of speakers and performers and the planning and implementation of the Artist-Lecture Series events. The committee enjoys private dining activities with most of the speakers and performers during their visits to MSU.