Ocean ecologist Dr. Jonatha Giddens is a National Geographic Explorer and Chief Scientist of the National Geographic Society's Exploration Technology Lab where she is conducting global research to better understand deep-ocean ecosystems while inspiring people to care about the sea through the science, art, and storytelling of deep-ocean exploration.
With Exploration Technology Lab, Dr. Giddens is leading biodiversity analyses to illuminate the biogeographic patterns and ecological relationships in our planet’s largest, yet least explored habitat – the deep ocean.
Her research helps us to better understand the ecological processes and human impacts that drive patterns in deep-sea biodiversity, so that we can better steward and protect our oceans.
Committed to inspiring a love for the sea and a renewed narrative for the ocean as a vital thing of beauty of which we are a part, Dr. Giddens is developing an art-science integration methodology.
Her vision is to share this approach with others who are interested in bringing art and narrative storytelling to their research and to their classrooms, to build capacity for the next generation of planetary stewards.
Dr. Giddens grew up in western Massachusetts, then moved to the nearest coast as a teenager when she became a U.S. Coast Guard certified captain and scuba instructor. She sailed to Hawaii on a tall ship in her early 20’s, and the islands have been home ever since.