Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Clint Collins

Title: Assistant Professor

Office Location: TSC 4006

Email: clint.collins@csus.edu

Office Phone: 1 (916) 278-5836

Mailing Address: 6000 J street

Office Hours: TBD

Twitter : 'at' saxicoly

Research Projects/Interests

A fundamental question in biology is how structures match function to enable survivorship and fitness. Many animals move to disperse, eat, reproduce, and escape predators. Successful locomotion depends on coordinating and integrating a complex phenotype that is hierarchically arranged from the physics that govern movement (biomechanics) to foraging behavior and predator evasion. My lab works at the interface of evolution, ecology, and mechanics by studying animal performance and morphology.

Our goal is to understand how anatomical variation shapes organismal ecology and evolution. We use interdisciplinary methods spanning muscle physiology, anatomy, biomechanics and behavioral ecology. Our techniques include scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-speed video in nature, and digital dissections (diceCT).

My lab practices inclusivity and anti-racist habits. We continually refine our approach to science, collaboration, and cooperation so that everyone can reach their full potential.


  • Martinez, A., DeJong, J., Akin, I., Aleali, A., Arson, C., Atkinson, J., Bandini, P., Baser, T., Borela, R., Boulanger, R., Burrall, M., Chen, Y., Collins, C., Cortes, D., Dai, S., DeJong, T., Del Dottore, E., Dorgan, K., Fragaszy, R., Frost, D., Full, R., Ghayoomi, M., Goldman, D., Gravish, N., Guzman, I.L., Hambleton, J., Hawkes, E., Helms, M., Hu, D.L., Huang, L., Huang, S., Hunt, C., Irschick, D., Lin, H., Lingwall, B., Marr, W.A., Mazzolai, B., McInroe, B., Murthy, T., O’Hara, K., Porter, M., Sadek, S., Sanchez, M., Santamarina, C., Shao, L., Sharp, J., Stuart, H., Stutz, H.H., Summers, A.P., Tao, J., Tolley, M., Treers, L., Turnbull, K., Valdes, R., van Passen, L., Viggiani, G., Wilson, D., Wu, W., Yu, X. and Zheng, J. 2021. Bio-inspired geotechnical engineering: principles, current work, opportunities and challenges. Geotechnique. PDFhttp://doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.20.P.170 

  • M.J. Schwaner, S.T. Hsieh, I. Braasch, S. Bradley, C.B. Campos*, C.E. Collins, C.M. Donatelli, F.E. Fish, O.E. Fitch, BE. Flammang, B.E. Jackon, A. Jusufi, P.J. Mekdara, A. Patel, B.J. Swalla, M. Vickaryous, and C.P. McGowan. Future Tail Tales: A Forward-Looking, Integrative Perpsective on Tail Research. Integrative & Comparative BiologyPDF

    • * denotes undergraduate resarcher in the Collins lab.

  • Collins, C.E. and McGowan, C.P. Turning mechanics of the bipedal hopping Desert kangaroo rat (Dipodomys deserti).In revision.

  • McGowan, C.P. and Collins C.E. Why Do Mammals Hop? Understanding the ecology, biomechanics, and evolution of bipedal hopping. Journal of Experimental Biology. doi:10.1242/jeb.161661 PDF

  • Collins, C.E. and Higham, T.E. Individuals of the common Namib Day Gecko vary in how adaptive simplification alters sprint biomechanics. Scientific Reports. 7, 15595. PDF

  • Higham, T.E., R.W. Clark, C.E. Collins, M.D. Whitford, and G.A. Freymiller. Rattlesnakes are extremely fast and variable when striking at kangaroo rats in nature: Three-dimensional high-speed kinematics at night. Scientific Reports, 7, 40412. PDF

  • Higham, T.E., A. Birn-Jeffery, C.E. Collins, C.D. Hulsey, and A.P. Russell. 2015. Adaptive simplification and the evolution of gecko locomotion: Morphological and biomechanical consequences of losing adhesion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 809-814. PDF

  • Collins, C.E., Russell, A.P., and Higham, T.E. 2015. Subdigital adhesive pad morphology varies in relation to structural habitat use in the Namib Day Gecko. Functional Ecology, 29, 66–77. PDF

  • Foster, K.L., C.E. Collins, T.E. Higham, and T. Garland, Jr. 2015. Determinants of lizard escape performance: detection, motivation, ability, and opportunity. In Escaping from predators: An integrative view of escape decisions and refuge use, eds. W.E. Cooper, Jr. and D.T. Blumstein. PDF

  • Collins, C.E., Anderson, R.A., Self, J.D., McBrayer, L.D. 2013. Rock–dwelling lizards exhibit less sensitivity of sprint speed to increases in substrate rugosity. Zoology, 116, 3. PDF


BIO 022: Introduction to Human Anatomy Lecture & Lab

BIO 025: Human Anatomy and Physiology

BIO 126: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

BIO 164: Amphibians & Reptiles

BIO 165: Vertebrate Zoology (study abroad 2022)

Professional Associations

Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology (http://www.sicb.org)

American Society of Mammalogists (https://www.mammalsociety.org)

Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología AC (https://www.mastozoologiamexicana.org/index2.php)

New news!
Collins was awarded a National Science Foundation Grant with Co-PIs Dr. Idil Akin and Haluk Beyenal. The grant is called "Translating from kangaroo rat burrows to geotechnical engineering by uncovering fundamental processes." Stingers up!