Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Allen Collins

Adjunct Zoologist, NOAA, Curator of Hexactinellida and Scyphozoa
Department / Division
Education
  • Amherst College, Majors: Mathematics and Economics, Degree and Date: BA, 1987
  • University of California at Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology, Major Professor: James W. Valentine, Degree and Date: PhD, 1999
Collections Areas
  • Cnidaria
  • Ctenophora
  • Porifera
  • Protozoa
Affiliations
  • Director and Research Zoologist, National Systematics Lab of NOAA's Fisheries
Research Interests

My research focuses on the evolutionary history of relatively simple animals, cnidarians (jellyfishes, corals, etc.), placozoans (aka Trichoplax), and sponges. I generate and use evolutionary trees, known as phylogenetic hypotheses, to better understand how the amazing biodiversity of these groups -- in terms of morphology, life history, and genetics -- has come to be.