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Susan Kilham, PhD.

Susan Kilham, PhD

Professor Emerita, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science


  • BS, Biology, Eckerd College (former Florida Presbyterian College)
  • PhD, Zoology & Oceanography, Duke University
  • Post-Doctoral: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Research Interests:

Aquatic ecology, Physiological ecology of phytoplankton, Consumer/algal interactions, Food quality, Stable isotopes and ecological stoichiometry in food webs, Tropical lakes and streams, Yellowstone Ecosystem, Climate change.


Following her postdoctoral studies, Susan Kilham, PhD was on the faculty at the University of Michigan 1972-1990. She came to Drexel University in January, 1991. Kilham does research and teaching in many areas of ecology and the environment. She has extensive international experience in aquatic ecosystems and is the author of over 75 scientific publications. In the past decade, she has researched areas related to the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, including studies on diatom species in the large lakes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the ecosystem consequences of the extinction of frogs in Panama. She has trained 17 PhD students, 14 MS students and has had over 50 undergraduates work in her laboratory. She has been active in service to her professional organizations and in community outreach throughout her career.

Selected Publications:

  • Verburg, P., S.S. Kilham, C.M. Pringle, K.R. Lips and D.L. Drake. 2007. A stable isotope study of a neotropical stream food web prior to the extirpation of its large amphibian community. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23:643-651.
  • Kilham, S.S., M. Hunte-Brown, P. Verburg, C.M. Pringle, M.R. Whiles, K.R. Lips and E. Zandona. 2009. Challenges for interpreting stable isotope fractionation of carbon and nitrogen in tropical aquatic ecosystems. Verhandlungen Internationale Vereinugung für Limnologie 30:749-753.
  • Connelly, S., C.M. Pringle, R.J. Bixby, R. Brenes, M.R. Whiles, K.R. Lips, S. Kilham and A.D. Huryn. 2009. Changes in stream primary producer communities resulting from large-scale catastrophic amphibian declines: Can small-scale experiments predict effects of tadpole loss? Ecosystems: 11: 1262-1276
  • Colon-Gaud, C., M.R. Whiles, S.S. Kilham, K.R. Lips, C.M. Pringle, S.Connelly, and S.D. Peterson. 2009. Macroinvertebrate production and food web structure in upland Panamanian streams: assessing responses to catastrophic amphibian declines. Limnology and Oceanography. 54:331-343.
  • Colón-Gaud, C., M. R. Whiles, K. R. Lips, C. M. Pringle, S. S. Kilham, S. Connelly, R. Brenes and S. D. Peterson. 2010. Stream invertebrate responses to a catastrophic decline in consumer diversity. Journal of North American Benthological Society 29: 1185-1198.
  • Colón-Gaud, C., M. R. Whiles, R. Brenes, S. S. Kilham, K. R. Lips, C. M. Pringle, S. Connelly, and S. D. Peterson. 2010. Potential functional redundancy and resource facilitation between tadpoles and insect grazers in tropical headwater streams. Freshwater Biology 55:2077-2088.