The Southern Reach is a clandestine government agency tasked with studying the anomalous region known as Area X. While the agency is officially under the jurisdiction of Central (a powerful government body that commands the nation's intelligence community and coordinates military responses to homeland security issues) the Southern Reach's mandate gives it the power to act independently in regards to processing and analyzing data, samples and artifacts from Area X, much to the frustration of senior leadership at Central.
Although the organization is mentioned in Annihilation, Southern Reach is explored in the second book, Authority. As the author Jeff VanderMeer has said: "If Annihilation is an expedition into Area X, then Authority is an expedition into the Southern Reach, the agency sending in the expeditions."
- John Rodriguez (Director)
- Grace Stevenson (Assistant Director)
- Gloria/The Psychologist (Former Director)
- Cheney (head of Scientific Division)
- Whitby (*)