Green Living — May 27, 2011
Bioluminescence: Language of light in deep oceans
Edith Widder is an American oceanographer, marine biologist, and the Co-founder, CEO and Senior Scientist at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association. 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, Widder helps design and invent new submersible instruments and equipment to study bioluminescence and enable unobtrusive observation of deep-sea environments. One of these instruments, the Eye in the Sea observatory, has produced footage of rare sharks, squid and never-before-seen bioluminescent displays.
In 2005 she co-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. While translating complex scientific issues into engineerable solutions, Dr. Widder is fostering greater understanding of ocean life as a means to better, more informed ocean stewardship. 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. Widder was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2006.
Shimomura's book provides a comprehensive overview of the biochemical aspects of all luminous organisms currently known. It is the first and only book that provides chemical information on all known bioluminescence systems, in a single volume. Important experimental data and graphs are included in the book, making time-consuming reference searches almost unnecessary. Whisker was awarded 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery of green fluorescent protein, GFP, in the jellyfish that made huge impact in biomedical science by allowing visualization of protein behavior in vivo.