Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Looking Back

Basic and Applied Ecological Research

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, a research unit of the University of Georgia, pursues basic and applied research at multiple levels of ecological organization, from atoms to ecosystems.

SREL is located near Aiken, S.C., on the Savannah River Site, a Department of Energy facility, and the first national environmental research park. The lab’s research extends beyond the site to regional and global projects. To date, the lab has more than 3,000 peer-reviewed publications.

Celebrating 71 Years

A message from the Director:

Olin “Gene” Rhodes, Jr. PH.D.As we celebrate the SREL’s 71st anniversary, I am proud to say that we are still going strong and committed to the mission of protecting our environment, a mission begun all those many years ago by Eugene Odum and his three graduate students, William Cross, Leslie B. Davenport, Jr., and Edward Kuenzler. As a research unit within the University of Georgia, we pursue this mission through the rigorous pursuit of high impact scholarship, graduate and undergraduate education, and service to our local community, and the general public.

Over the past decade, we have successfully grown the laboratory population to close to 200 employees, comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Among that number are 75 graduate students. The SREL’s 18 faculty take up the charge in mentoring these students through experiential learning on the 310-square mile Savannah River Site, around the country, and around the globe.

Our productivity has remained high, even in the face of the pandemic. The laboratory is averaging over 100 peer-reviewed papers per year with an overall average impact factor of over 4.5, a high citing rating in scientific journals.

Our support from the Department of Energy has grown over the past decade. We have been good partners in this cooperative relationship. In 2021, the SREL reached a new milestone with 47% of our total funding coming from external sources other than DOE and UGA funds.

We are also excited about the growth and success of our outreach efforts to the public, with programs reaching over 65,000 adult and K-12 audiences prior to the pandemic and steadily reaching beyond the Central Savannah River Area with an increasing footprint on social media.

As we look to the future, we embrace the potential that it offers for the future growth and stability of the SREL, and we hope you will join us in wishing SREL a happy 71st birthday and many more to come.

Olin “Gene” Rhodes, Jr. PH.D.