Professor Collin's research falls broadly into the field of comparative neurobiology with emphasis on the neural basis of behaviour. Using models from the extant relatives of the first vertebrates (agnathans) to elasmobranchs and teleosts, various aquatic sensory systems (including vision, olfaction and electroreception) are investigated to establish broad concepts of plasticity and adaptation to environments as diverse as coral reefs and the deep sea.

Anatomical, electrophysiological, molecular and behavioural techniques are currently being used to trace the prehistoric origins of colour vision, the visual ecology of deep sea fishes and sharks, the regulation and patterned expression of visual pigments in the vertebrate retina and the development of sensory input to the shark and teleost brain.