UCF zoologist William Crampton braves the Amazon River to uncover the secrets of electric fish as part of a new documentary airing on the Smithsonian Channel on Nov. 9 and 22.

Crampton is a world expert on electric eels and knifefish and has spent years studying the creatures throughout South America. In 2014 he served as field producer and scientific director of “Electric Amazon,” a Smithsonian Channel documentary about electric fish. A film crew accompanied Crampton to the Peruvian Amazon, where they explored the electric fish of the deep Amazon river, seasonally flooded forests, and rainforest streams.

The UCF Department of Biology Facebook page describes the film as:

“Battling insects, heat, and torrential rain, Dr. Crampton traveled to the heart of the Amazon rainforest for three months to co-direct and produce a film about his research on electric knifefish and electric eels.  Electric fish have the unique ability to communicate and navigate in the dark using electric fields generated from electric organs, and arrays of electroreceptors. The film features the electric eel and its spectacular high-voltage electric discharges, an astonishing diversity of weakly electric knife fish, and the electrosensory (but not electrogenic) catfish and stingrays.”

To see a clip from the documentary click here.

Crampton is an associate professor at UCF and conducts research in South America. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and worked as an assistant scientist at the Florida Museum of Natural History and a post doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto before joining UCF in 2006.

He is no stranger to television audiences. He’s been involved with several other natural history film productions, including for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, and the BBC.