Michael Collins

Ecology, Ornithology, Wildlife Biology, Statistics


Dr. Collins’ research interests are broad, but center on examining the determinants and consequences of species diversity at local, regional, and global scales. His research employs observational, field, computational, statistical, and GIS approaches to understand issues in community ecology, conservation biology, avian ecology, and invasive species. Dr. Collins conducts field studies in the Memphis area and encourages students to swing by his office to meet him, especially if they have an interest in avian conservation biology or field ecology.

To learn more, please visit the Collins Lab Page.


Fecchio, A., Pinheiro, R., Bell, J.A., Felix, G., Faria, I.P., Pinho, J.B., Braga, E.M., Farias, I.P., Tkach, V., Aleixo, A., Collins, M.D., and Weckstein, J.D. In press. Host community similarity and geography shape the diversity and distribution of haemosporidian parasites in Amazonian birds. Ecography.

Collins, M.D., Relyea, G.E., *Blustein, E.C., and *Badami, S.M. 2017. Neotropical migrants exhibit variable body size changes over time and space. Northeastern Naturalist 24:82–96. 

Ellis, V.A., Medeiros, M.C.I., Collins, M.D., Sari, E.H.R., Coffey, E.D., Dickerson, R.C., Lugarini, C., Stratford, J.A., Henry, D.R., Merrill, L., *Matthews, A.E., *Hanson, A.A., *Roberts, J.R., Joyce, M., Kunkel, M.R., and Ricklefs, R.E. 2017. Prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites is positively related to the abundance of host species at multiple sites within a regionParasitology Research 116:73–80. doi:10.1007/s00436-016-5263-3

Collins, M.D., Relyea, G.E., *Blustein, E.C., and *Badami, S.M. 2017. Heterogeneous changes in avian body size across and within species. Journal of Ornithology 158:39–52. doi: 10.1007/s10336-016-1391-x  

*Matthews, A.E., Ellis, V.A., *Hanson, A.A., *Roberts, J.R., Ricklefs, R.E., and Collins, M.D. 2016. Avian haemosporidian prevalence and its relationship to host life histories in eastern Tennessee. Journal of Ornithology 157:533–548. doi:10.1007/s10336-015-1298-y 

Trout Fryxell, R.T., Moore, J.E., Collins, M.D., Kwon, Y., Jean-Philippe, S.R., Schaeffer, S.M., Odoi, A., Kennedy, M., and Houston, A. 2015. Habitat and vegetation variables are not enough when predicting tick populations in the southeastern United States. PLoS ONE. 10(12):e0144092. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144092   

Ellis, V.A., Collins, M.D., Medeiros, M.C.I., Sari, E.H.R., Coffey, E.D., Dickerson, R.C., Lugarini, C., Stratford, J.A., Henry, D.R., Merrill, L., *Matthews, A.E., *Hanson, A.A., *Roberts, J.R., Joyce, M., Kunkel, M.R., & Ricklefs, R.E. 2015. Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112:11294–11299. doi:10.1073/pnas.1515309112  

Connor, E.F., Collins, M.D., and Simberloff, D.S. 2015. The checkered history of checkerboard distributions: Reply. Ecology 96:3388–3389.  

Collins, M.D. 2014. Review of Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin by T. Birkhead, J. Wimpenny, and B. Montgomerie. The Auk 131:449–450.  

Connor, E.F., Collins, M.D., and Simberloff, D.S. 2013. The checkered history of checkerboard distributions. Ecology 94:2403–2414. 

Collins, M.D., Simberloff, D., and Connor, E.F. 2011. Binary matrices and checkerboard distributions of birds in the Bismarck Archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 38:2373–2383.Supporting Information.

Simberloff, D., and Collins, M.D. 2010. Birds of the Solomon Islands: The domain of the dynamic equilibrium theory and assembly rules, with comments on the taxon cycle. Pages 237–263 in J.B. Losos and R. Ricklefs, eds. The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 

Collins, M.D., and Simberloff, D.S. 2009. Rarefaction and nonrandom spatial dispersion patterns. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 16:89–103.  

*Schook, D.M., Collins, M.D., Jensen, W.E., *Williams, P.J., *Bader, N.E., and Parker, T.H. 2008. Geographic patterns of song similarity in the Dickcissel, Spiza americana. Auk 125:953–964.  

Crutsinger, G.M., Collins, M.D., Fordyce, J.A., and Sanders, N.J. 2008. Temporal dynamics in non-additive responses of arthropods to host-plant genotypic diversity. Oikos 117:255–264.  

Cadotte, M.W., *Mai, D.V., *Jantz, S., Collins, M.D., *Keele, M., and Drake, J.A. 2006. On testing the competition–colonization trade-off in a multispecies assemblage. American Naturalist 168:704–709. 

Crutsinger, G.M., Collins, M.D., Fordyce, J.A., Gompert, Z, Nice, C.C., and Sanders, N.J. 2006. Plant genotypic diversity predicts community structure and governs an ecosystem process. Science 313:966–968.  

Collins, M.D., Vázquez, D.P., and Sanders, N.J. 2002. Species–area curves, homogenization and the loss of global diversity. Evolutionary Ecology Research 4:457–464.  

Vázquez, D., y Collins, M. 1999. Modelos en ecología: Entrevista con Daniel Simberloff. Boletín de la Asociación Argentina de Ecología 8:34–38.  


B.S., University of Arizona (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
M.S., Florida State University (Biological Science)
Ph.D., University of Tennessee (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)