Clare Collins

Clare Collins

PG Demonstrator


  • BA (University of East Anglia)
  • MRes (University of Hull)
  • PhD / DPhil (University of Hull)


I am a conservation ecologist interested in nature-based solutions to improve planetary health. My ambition is to pursue study that advances science with a distinctly practical application focussing on tackling the most existential challenges humanity faces - biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse.

My current research (PhD) is developing existing ecological models of environmental DNA (eDNA) transport in river systems to more accurately predict the distribution of river biodiversity from an eDNA signal. Then to apply these models to river rewilding case studies such as removal of barriers to reconnect rivers and reintroduce keystone species, to produce spatially explicit data on species distribution and to predict the impact on the broader ecosystem.

My previous research (MSc by thesis) used a relatively pristine marine environment of the Southern Ocean around the subantarctic island of South Georgia to understand to what extent fish are ingesting plastics when plastics pollution levels are lower. Fish are ingesting plastics in areas of high human activity; data from remote locations are limited, but vital for defining the scale of the problem.

This research additionally established baseline data for monitoring pollution in a Marine Protected Area.

Recognised Teaching Status from University of Hull.

Module Leader at Bishop Burton University College at Level 4 and 5: Level 4: Principles of Animal Behaviour, Practical Animal Behaviour and Personal & Professional Development. Level 5: Animal Welfare & Legislation

Climate Fresk Facilitator: - educative game based on the science from the IPCC reports. Facilitated Local Business Climate CPD session and University teaching sessions.

PhD Student Demonstrator.

Led session for MSc Analytical Chemistry module (2022) on techniques for environmental pollution by microplastics research processes.

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Digital Artefact

Podcast - Researchers Rant - Ep1 - Plastic-Free July

Collins, C., & McCumskay, R. (2021). Podcast - Researchers Rant - Ep1 - Plastic-Free July. [Video podcast]


Top tips for tackling plastic pollution – from marine scientists

Collins, C., Caswell, B., & Waller, C. (2021). Top tips for tackling plastic pollution – from marine scientists. London

Presentation / Conference

Plastics-Free - Would you choose a paper bag?

Collins, C. (2021, July). Plastics-Free - Would you choose a paper bag?. Paper presented at Energy and Environment Institute Colloquium 2021, University of Hull

Research interests

Environmental science, anthropogenic impact, pollution, climate, biodiversity, ecology, animal behaviour, eDNA metabarcoding, computer modelling

Awards and prizes

Outstanding contribution to the University's Culture and Sustainability


Awarded the Faculty Excellence Award 2023 in the category Outstanding contribution to the University’s culture and sustainability

Conference attendance

SCAR Plastic in the Polar Environment workshop

2019 - 2019

Conference and problem-solving workshops on plastics research in the polar environments. Minuted and reported on two workshops and engaged in discussions.

Conference presentation

Effective Biodiversity Monitoring of River Rewilding Projects using eDNA Modelling

2023 - 2023

Conference poster introducing PhD.

Energy and Environment Institute: Summer Conference

2021 - 2021

Two presentations: "Incorporating sustainability in our research" and "Looking for microplastics in sub-Antarctic fishes".

EEI Colloquium Series 2021 - 21st July - Plastics-Free - would you choose a paper bag?

2021 - 2021

Weekly Colloquium Series that programmes speakers that are representative of the key challenges at the heart of the work of the Energy and Environment Institute.

Energy and Environment Institute: Summer Conference

2020 - 2020

Poster presentation on literature review.

British Antarctic Survey: Postgraduate Researchers' Conference

2019 - 2019

Opportunity for all Postgraduate Researchers with British Antarctic Survey supervisors to attend, network and share their research. First year researchers present a one slide introduction.

Consultancy/Industry advisory role

Climate Fresk Facilitation - Climate CPD course for local SMEs

2022 - 2022 is an educative game to spread knowledge from the IPCC reports on climate change. I have participated in Fresks, carried out the training and am now facilitating games myself. The first one was part of the University run CPD for local SMEs and the feedback from participants was highly encouraging, with many interested in training to facilitate in their own companies.