The mission of the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory is to provide an independent evaluation of the impact of Savannah River Site’s operations on the environment to the public and to the Department of Energy. This mission is accomplished through research, education, and outreach.


The University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) traces its origins back to 1951, when Dr. Eugene Odum,  known for his work in environmental sciences and as the ‘father of modern ecology,’ began the lab’s journey. Initiated with a biological inventory for the then Savannah River Plant at the behest of the Atomic Energy Commission, SREL has grown into a premier ecological research institution.

Today, SREL thrives on the support of various external funding sources, highlighting our collaboration with and recognition by leading agencies and organizations. Major funders include the Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management, DOE-National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, and U.S. Geological Survey. Other significant contributors are the U.S. Department of the Army, National Park Service, National Science Foundation, Augusta-Richmond County Consolidated Government, and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. This diverse funding portfolio not only underscores the wide-ranging impact of SREL’s research but also ensures the continuation of our commitment to ecological studies and environmental stewardship.