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Research at Wormsloe

Thanks to the generous support of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History and the Wormsloe Foundation, a number of Odum School students and faculty have the opportunity to conduct research at one of the most important sites for the study of ecological and cultural history in the Southeast.

Wormsloe, located on the Isle of Hope near Savannah, was established in 1736 by Noble Jones, one of the original founders of the Colony of Georgia, as a farm and fortification against potential invasion by the Spanish. It has remained under the ownership and management of his descendants ever since. Although it has been inhabited for centuries—Native Americans lived there before European settlement—and has seen various agricultural uses, Wormsloe has never been developed, making it one of the most ecologically intact properties in the area.

The current owners, ninth generation Jones descendant Craig Barrow III and his wife Diana, created the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History with WIEH Director and President Sarah Ross and the Wormsloe Foundation in 2007. In 2013, they donated 15 acres to UGA to create the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe.

WIEH partnered with the UGA Graduate School to create the Wormsloe Fellows program in 2008, which supports graduate students in ecology, environmental design, geography, anthropology, and engineering. WIEH, the Wormsloe Foundation and the Barrows provide additional support including lodging on site, research facilities and equipment. Fellows meet regularly to discuss their projects with one another, and present their findings at an annual Wormsloe Symposium. The Wormsloe Scientific Advisory Council, composed of UGA faculty, including Odum School Professor Emeritus Ron Carroll, provides guidance on Wormsloe research initiatives.

Odum School Research at Wormsloe

Butterfly research gardens at Wormsloe.
Butterfly Research Gardens

Ania Majewska, doctoral student, Wormsloe Fellow 2013-2014;
Sonia Altizer, Associate Dean and UGA Athletic Association Professor
Andy Davis, Assistant Research Scientist

Ania is leading the investigation of the fate of butterflies in pollinator-friendly gardens.

For more information:

Wormsloe Fellows Report Fall 2013: Wormsloe Butterfly Gardens (9/13/2013)

Wormsloe Fellows Report Fall 2013: Wormsloe Butterfly Gardens (10/10/2013)

Butterfly Gardens Project web site


Wormsloe Fellow Alyssa Gehman
Ecological Drivers of Parasite Abundance

Alyssa Gehman, doctoral student, Wormsloe Fellow 2013-2014

Alyssa studies an invasive parasite that infects mud crabs, and the factors that affect its prevalence.

For more information:

Wormsloe Fellows Report Fall 2013 : A Climate for Castrators?


The Wonders of Wormsloe
University of Georgia Magazine, June 2014


Impacts of Parasites on Migrating Songbirds

Emily Cornelius, MS ’13, Wormsloe Fellow 2011-13

Emily, now a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin, conducted research for her master's thesis at Wormsloe.

For more information:

Wormsloe Fellows Report Spring 2013: Trade-offs in migratory songbirds: feathers as indicators of condition

Wormsloe Fellows Final Report 2012: Interplay between stress, lipids, parasites and immunity in migrating songbirds

Watch Emily's presentation at the 2012 Wormsloe Research Symposium

Wormsloe Fellow Jennifer Pahl
Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

Jennifer Plourde Pahl, doctoral student, Wormsloe Fellow 2011-2012

Jennifer’s research examined the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment for the Wormsloe Historic Site.

For more information:

Read Jennifer's report Site Selection for a Treatment Wetland at the Wormsloe Historic Site

More information on the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History and the Wormsloe Fellows

Watch a short documentary about the most recent class of Wormsloe Fellows: Wormsloe Fellows 2014

Watch presentations from the 2012 Wormsloe Research Symposium

Read about plans for the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe: Research cabin planned for historic Wormsloe site.