Radioecology is the study of the sources, transport, fate, and effects of radionuclides in the biosphere. Research on radioecology at SREL dates back almost to the time SREL was founded in 1951 by the late Dr. Eugene Odum, a professor at the University of Georgia and one of the pioneers of radioecology. Over the years, SREL has developed an international reputation in radioecology, and over 200 scientific publications in radioecology have resulted from research studies conducted by scientists working at SREL, an accomplishment rivaling that of any other laboratory in the world. Today, SREL is one of the few institutions in the U.S. conducting research in radioecology and has the only National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Radioecology in the United States.
Today, SREL researchers investigate the fate and transport of radionuclides in the environment and in biota, both in the U.S. and abroad. Cutting-edge research conducted by SREL scientists includes studies of the retention of radionuclides in long-lived organisms, the movement of radionuclides among trophic levels via scavenging, the development of technologies to link spatial movement data to radionuclide exposure data at fine scales, and the effects of low-dose radiation exposure on the proteome and glycome of organisms. The contaminant history of the Savannah River Site combined with SREL’s unique expertise and facilities makes SREL one of the premier places to study radioecology in the world today.