Sinead Collins


1995-1999    Bachelor of Science, Honors in Biochemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

2000-2005    Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

2005-2007    Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, Cologne, Germany

2007-2010    NERC Research Fellow, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh

2010-2015    Royal Society University Research Fellow at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh

Research summary

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.


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