Dr. Scott F. Collins, Assistant professor

  • B.S. Lake Superior State University
  • Ph.D. Idaho State University
  • Postdoc, Illinois Natural History Survey

I’m an aquatic ecologist who studies food web linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. This entails a combination of field studies, manipulative experiments, and modeling to tease apart the complex processes that shape the numbers and composition of organisms. Over the past several years, I have studied how salmon carcass subsidies alter stream-riparian food webs, how invasive fishes influence aquatic-terrestrial fluxes, and how mobile recreational anglers shape populations of fishes. My lab here at Texas Tech will continue to study complex ecological linkages between land and water, humans and fisheries, and so forth.

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Twitter @ScottFCollins2

Graduate students

Andrea Norton M.S. student

  • Hometown: Cary, Illinois
  • B.S. from Michigan Tech University, 2018

Andie’s research is focused on microplastics in urban freshwater environments. Plastics come in many shapes and types. Her thesis will examine whether variation in urban land use influences the presence and composition of plastics in differing aquatic habitats. Through extensive field and laboratory work, her efforts will help us better understand the ecology of plastics.

Owen George Ph.D. student

  • Hometown: Seward, Nebraska
  • B.S. from University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2019

Owen spends most of his time in mountain streams of the Santa Fe National Forest capturing, marking, and gastric lavaging fishes to better understand how non-native fish alter aquatic food webs. Owen’s thesis is examining how non-native Brown trout (Salmon trutta) are thought to be a threat to Rio Grande Sucker (Catostomus plebeius) and Rio Grande Chub (Gila pandora). By assessing the bottom-up (competition) and top-down (predation) effects of a non-native predator, Owen’s research will help determine the degree to which Brown trout negatively affect small bodied, native fishes.

Travis Ausec M.S. student

  • Hometown: Corinth, Texas
  • B.S. from Texas Tech University, 2020

Travis’ research focuses on urban recreational fisheries. Small urban lakes offer great recreational opportunities but are often overlooked compared to larger lakes and reservoirs. Travis will examine multiple dimensions of diversity (habitat, fish, angler) in urban fisheries to better understand how we can improve or preserve quality fishing experiences.

Bailey Robertory M.S. student

  • Hometown: Fairfax Station, Virginia 
  • B.S. from University of South Carolina, 2020

Bailey joined the lab in the Fall of 2020 after attending the U. of South Carolina. Bailey’s graduate research will examine predator-prey interactions in mountain streams of New Mexico. Field studies and modeling will be used to examine how non-native brown trout affect native fish communities to prioritize management actions.

Lauren Soliz M.S. student

Hometown: Boerne, Texas

B.S. from Texas Tech University, 2021

Lauren is studying the effects of invasive riparian vegetation and fish on stream food webs. Her study will help us better manage the Federally threatened Devils River Minnow, which is currently found in only three streams.