Research Overview

We study freshwater ecosystems in the southeastern United States, with an emphasis on the Savannah River basin. These freshwater systems are significant sources of plant and animal habitat, recreation opportunities, drivers of nutrient transport, and a vital provider of drinking water and industrial water. Work at Phinizy Center for Water Sciences encompasses river basin ecology, restoration ecology, and water quality research. Our methods are a multi-faceted combination of cutting-edge laboratory analyses, long-term water quality monitoring, and studies on the ecological health of wetland systems.

Research is conducted by a multi-disciplinary Research Team, composed of certified experts in water chemistry, aquatic biology, and terrestrial science. Our lab and field facilities serve as a hub for water ecology research in an urban landscape, situated in a scenic natural and constructed wetland connected to the Savannah River. In addition to research, we offer internships to growing scientists at the undergraduate and recent graduate level.

Phinizy Center Research Team: Stephen Beacham (Laboratory Technician), Jacob Lott (Research Technician), and Rachael Gonzalez (Research Manager)

We collect objective water quality data that informs communities, corporate entities, and cities, as well as state and federal regulators. By gaining a full understanding of the drivers of water quality and freshwater ecology, we can develop solutions to minimize impacts on these important systems. Through our research, we aim to find the necessary balance between a healthy river ecology and the needs of the communities around the Savannah River basin.

To support freshwater research through a donation, or to inquire about partnering for freshwater research, contact the Research Manager at 706-396-1425 or email

Scientists collecting water samples from a stream in Wrens, GA.