Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
Photo of Pilgrim Curriculum Vitae Faculty & Scientists SREL Home SREL Herpetology

Melissa Pilgrim

Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina Upstate
Spartanburg, SC
mpilgrim(at)uscupstate.edu

Melissa Pilgrim is currently an assistant professor of biology at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2005 and transitioned to SREL as a postdoctoral research associate working with J. Whitfield Gibbons and Chris Romanek. Her primary research focus involves an interdisciplinary approach to investigating how ecosystems respond to environmental change (natural and anthropogenic). She is interested in investigating large scale questions, such as the impact of climate change on community assemblages, and also interested in understanding how individual animal responses to environmental variation impact population level processes. Her research program integrates field ecology, biogeochemistry (e.g., stable isotopes), and ecophysiology. She uses herpetological systems as her animal models and currently has an army of students working with her in a research group called Upstate Herpetology. Recent research collaborations at SREL include using stable isotopes to explore how resource availability impacts species interactions and reproductive allocation strategies in snakes.