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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

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With great sadness, we announce Dr. Susan Kilham passed on April 12, 2022.

A Memorial Service in her honor will be held at Noon on May 10, 2022 in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), room 112, at Drexel University.


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

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, served on the faculty at the University of Michigan from 1972-1990. Dr. Kilham came to Drexel University in January, 1991 where she did research and taught in many areas of ecology and the environment. She held extensive international experience in aquatic ecosystems and authored more than 75 scientific publications.

In the past decade, Dr. Kilham focused her studies on 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 mentored 17 doctoral students, 14 master's students and welcomed several dozen undergraduate students to work in her laboratory. Dr. Kilham was active in service to professional organizations and dedicated to 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.