Nigella Hillgarth PhD
Distinguished Speaker


Join the Ocean Institute in the Samueli Conference Center for The Nicholas Endowment Distinguished Speaker Series with biologist and photographer Nigella Hillgarth, PhD. 

Hillgarth is a visiting scientist at the University of Washington, and a founding member of Ocean Collectiv – solutions for a healthy ocean. Hillgarth will speak about creating change as a scientist, administrator, and now photographer/artist reaching new audiences on environmental issues. Her talk will focus on the impact of rising seas on the coral atolls of the South Pacific, and on Greenland where melting icecaps are contributing to higher sea levels. 


Thursday, August 8
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
Doors open at 5:45 


General Admission: $10.00 
Ocean Institute Members: Free with advanced registration
*Space is limited, advanced registration encouraged. Members enter your member ID at checkout to register. 

Additional Information: 

Parking is free at the Ocean Institute in our main lot located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive. 

Your ticket includes admission to the Speaker Series event for the date listed. 

Light appetizers and refreshments are included in the ticket price. For persons over the age of 21, your ticket will include one adult beverage, a cash bar will be available for additional beverages. 

About Nigella Hillgarth PhD: 

Nigella Hillgarth is a biologist and photographer concerned with the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal ecosystems. Nigella is a visiting scientist at the University of Washington, and a founding member of Ocean Collectiv – solutions for a healthy ocean. 

Before that, as President & CEO of the New England Aquarium, she raised the profile of the Aquarium’s global conservation and research work by founding the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life in June 2016, as well as developing a vision for the future of the Aquarium and surrounding Boston waterfront.

Earlier Nigella Hillgarth was Executive Director of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Prior to her work at the Birch Aquarium she served as Executive Director of the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, the largest bird park in the country, where she collaborated on research programs on penguins in South America as well as conservation efforts for marine birds in the Galapagos, Peru and Argentina.

Hillgarth was born in Ireland and received her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Oxford University in the UK as well as her Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology.