Assistant Professor
Canada Research Chair in Arctic Marine Microbial Ecosystem Services
Centre for Earth Observation Science, Environment and Geography
520 Wallace Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB
R3T 2N2
ORCID: 0000-0002-5858-2395

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Academic Background

Postdoctoral Fellow McGill University, Canadian Astrobiology Training Program (2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow McMaster University, Origins Institute (2012)
Ph.D. University of Washington: Biological Oceanography (2009)
M.Sc. University of Washington: Biological Oceanography (2006)
B.Sc. Washington State University: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2002)


ENVR3140: Aquatic Ecosystem Services

Research Interests

The Collins Lab works to understand the origin, evolution, distribution, and function of microorganisms in the cryosphere, including bacteria, archaea, algae, protists, fungi, and viruses. Using high-throughput and real-time sequencing of DNA, we conduct metabarcoding, genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, and metatranscriptomics. We also develop software for the analysis and visualization of large datasets using machine learning approaches.

Current and Recent Graduate Students

Click the ORCID number to visit that student's ORCID page

Vidanage, Thamali MSc 0009-0000-3746-793X
Shibue, Rei MSc 0009-0008-6544-4311
Kazmiruk, Zakhar PhD 0000-0001-8684-7672


Recent and Significant Publications

Bowman KL, Collins RE, Agather AM, Lamborg CH, Hammerschmidt CR, Kaul D, Dupont CL, Christensen GA, Elias DA. Distribution of mercury‐cycling genes in the Arctic and equatorial Pacific Oceans and their relationship to mercury speciation. Limnology and Oceanography. 2020 Jan;65:S310-20.

Kasanke CP, Collins RE, Leigh MB. Identification and characterization of a dominant sulfolane-degrading Rhodoferax sp. via stable isotope probing combined with metagenomics. Scientific reports. 2019 Feb 28;9(1):1-9.

Ducluzeau AL, Tyson JR, Collins RE, Snutch TP, Hassett BT. Genome sequencing of sub-arctic mesomycetozoean Sphaeroforma sirkka strain B5, performed with the Oxford Nanopore minION and Illumina HiSeq systems. Microbiology resource announcements. 2018 Oct 18;7(15).

Hop H, Bluhm BA, Melnikov IA, Poulin M, Vihtakari M, Collins RE, Gradinger R, Juul-Pedersen T, von Quillfeldt C. Sea ice biota: Excerpts from the State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report by the Sea Ice Biota Expert Network/CBMP. PeerJ Preprints; 2018 Apr 2.

Fuchsman CA, Collins RE, Rocap G, Brazelton WJ. Effect of the environment on horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and archaea. PeerJ. 2017 Sep 29;5:e3865.