The Southeastern United States is home to an incredible array of reptiles and amphibians species. To help both specialists and the public alike learn more about the species living in the region, the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory recently relaunched the website for its extensive herpetology program.

SREL, which is based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, has been an important center for extensive and intensive herpetological research since 1967, with researchers capturing, marking, and releasing more than 1 million individuals of 100 species of reptiles and amphibians. These captures represent more species of reptiles and amphibians than have been confirmed from any other public land area in the United States.

For over 20 years, the herpetology website has been the go-to source for information on reptiles and amphibians throughout the Central Savannah River Area and the Southeast. Many governmental, nonprofit, media, and educational organizations utilize it regularly.

As part of the revamp, Amanda Hurst, outreach coordinator at SREL, captured new photos for the website over the past year. She has an eye for capturing fine details many often overlook.

“After I got out of the Army, I struggled with anxiety,” Hurst said. “I found that photos of plants and animals helped me focus my thoughts on the subject and calm myself down. I paid attention to the finer details, such as the hairs on insects or the intricate scales on reptiles.”

Hurst’s images can be viewed throughout the new website and on SREL’s social media pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) with the handle @UGASREL. Read on to discover some of her own favorite images.