Dr Sinead Collins
IEB, Biodiversity and Ecology
I use experimental evolution in freshwater and marine unicellular algae (Chlamydomonas; Ostreococcus), along with studies of analogous natural microalgal populations, to study how classical adaptive processes (selective sweeps, adaptive walks) are affected by environmental complexity. Complex environments may be those that change at different rates (glacial-interglacial cycles vs the current rate of global change), that involve many concurrent changes (changes in temperature and light levels and carbon levels), or that involve changes in competition and adaptation at the same time (changes in the species composition of communities on the same timescale as the evolution of a given species). Many aspects of this work are used, either in models or in collaborative experiments using marine algae, to understand better how phytoplankton populations may respond to global change.
Collins, S. and Bell, G. (2004) Phenotypic consequences of 1000 generations of selection at elevated CO2 in a green alga. Nature 431:566-569.
Collins, S. and Bell, G. (2006) Evolution of natural algal populations at elevated CO2. Ecology Letters 9: 129-135
Collins, S., Sueltemeyer, D., and Bell, G. (2006) Rewinding the tape: selection of algae adapted to high CO2 at current and pleistocene levels of CO2. Evolution 60(7): 1392-1401.
Collins, S., Sueltemeyer, D., and Bell, G. (2006) Changes in carbon uptake in populations of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii selected at high CO2 Plant, Cell and Environment 29: 1812-1819.
Acquisti, C., Kleffe, J. and Collins, S. (2007) A role for atmospheric oxygen levels in the evolution of eukaryotic cells. Nature 445: 47-52.
Collins, S., de Meaux, J. and Acquisti, C. (2007) Adaptive walks towards a moving optimum. Genetics 176: 1089-1099.
Colegrave, N. and Collins, S. (2008) Experimental evolution and evolvability. Heredity. doi 10.1038/sj.hdy.6801095
Bell, G. and Collins, S. (2008) Expermental evolution and global change. Evolutionary Applications 1: 3-16.
Collins, S. and de Meaux, J. (2009) Adaptation to different rates of environmental change in Chlamydomonas. Evolution 63: 2952-2965.
Collins, S. and Gardner, A. (2009) Integrating physiological, ecological and evolutionary timescales: a Price equation approach. Ecology Letters 12: 744-757.
Collins, S. (2010) Competition limits adaptation and productivity in a photosynthetic alga at elevated CO 2. Proceedings B 278: 247-255.
Collins, S. (2010) Many possible worlds: expanding the ecological scenarios in experimental evolution. Invited paper for Evolutionary Biology 38: 3-14.
This article was published on Feb 8, 2012