Professor Alan Collins

Professor Alan Collins
 Position Professor
 Org Unit Earth Sciences
 Telephone +61 8 8313 3174
 Location Floor/Room G 44 ,  Mawson ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Professor Alan Collins received a BSc (Hons.) degree from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, The University of London, then completed a PhD in 1997 at The University of Edinburgh on the tectonics of SW Turkey. This work identified multiple stages of thrust-sheet movement, foreland basin formation and subsequent consumption in the ophiolite-bearing Lycian nappes along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast of Turkey. After completing this, Alan went down in the crust and back in time to work on the Ediacaran-Cambrian amalgamation of Gondwana, working initially in Madagascar, and later in East Africa, India, Western Australia and East Antarctica. Using tectono-stratigraphic techniques, he has helped unravel much of the East African Orogen to produce a model for the collision of Neoproterozoic India with the central Africa. This work began in Leicester University, UK, and continued in the Tectonics Special Research Centre in Curtin University and The University of Western Australia.

    Prof. Collins commenced at The University of Adelaide as a Senior Lecturer in 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Professor in 2014. His on-going research directs various aspects of geoscience, including palaeomagnetism, structural geology, geochronology and sedimentology to answer geologically significant questions. He was awarded an Australian Research Council 'Future Fellowship' in 2012.

    Alan Collins was Academic Group Leader of Geology and Geophysics in the School of Earth and Environmental Science from 2010-2012 and is now Director of the Centre for Tectonics, Resources and Exploration (TRaX).

    To find out a bit of what I do, check out a podcast of my professorial inaugural lecture.

  • Qualifications

    PhD (Edinburgh)
    Thesis title "Tectonics Architecture of the Lycian Thrust Sheets, SW Turkey" Advisers: Alastair Robertson, John Dixon

    BSc (Hons) 1st class, Geology
    Royal School of Mines, Inperial College, University of London

    Associate of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM)

    2002 F.W. James Chair in Geology at the St Francis Xavier University, NS, Canada

    2007 Flinn Award Winner - International Lithosphere Program

  • Teaching Interests

    Alan is a member of the Geology and Geophysics academic group and teaches undergraduate and Honours level courses in the Geology major and BSc (Minerals Geoscience)

    To do these programs enroll in the flagship course in the Faculty of Science - the Bachelor of Science

  • Research Interests

    Overall, Dr. Collins is interested in linking many of the sub-disciplines of geoscience into a constrained model for the evolution of a region, or the determination of a process. A particular bias in structural geology and geo(thermo)chronology.

    Alan is the Director of the Centre for Tectonics, Resources and Exploration (TRaX) -

    Specific ongoing research areas:

    The tectonics and palaeogeography of the Neoproterozoic world

    Palaeoproterozoic plate tectonics and the development of modern plate-margin processes

    The Neoproterozoic to recent evolution of the northern Gondwana margin - the Alps, Himalaya and SE Asia

    The Proterozoic to Recent tectonic evolution of Australia

    Doctor Alan Collins has conducted research in Australia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Poland, Tanzania, Turkey and the UK. Current research projects are located in India, Australia, Tanzania and Antarctica. He welcomes enquiries from potential students and collaborators.

  • Publications

    For full list of publications by TRaX members since 2009 see -

    Since 2010 (students italized)

    in press

    Hansberry, R.L., King, R., Collins, A.S., Morley, C. in press. Complex Structure of an Exposed Shale Detachment Zone: Khao Khwang Fold and Thrust Belt, Central Thailand. Journal of Structural Geology.

    Amarasinghe, U., Chaudhuri, A., Collins, A.S., Deb, G., Patranabis-Deb, S. in press. Evolving Provenance in the Proterozoic Pranhita-Godavari Basin, India. Geoscience Frontiers. doi:10.1016/j.gsf.2014.03.009

    Arboit, F., Collins, A.S., King, R., Morley, C.K., Hansberry, R.K. in press. Structural of the Sibumasu-Indochina Collision, Central Thailand: A section through the Khao Khwang Fold and Thrust Belt. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. doi: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2014.06.016

    Henderson, B., Collins, A.S., Payne, J.P., Forbes, C. and Saha, D. in press. Geologically Constraining India in Nuna/Columbia: The Age, Isotopic Provenance and Geochemistry of the Protoliths of the Ongole Domain, Southern Eastern Ghats, India. Gondwana Research.

    McGee, B., Collins, A.S., Trindade, R., Jourdan, F. in press. The tectonic and palaeoenvironmental significance of the Ediacaran to Cambrian Alto Paraguay Group, Paraguay Belt, Brazil: Sedimentology and 40Ar/39Ar detrital muscovite provenance. Sedimentology. doi:10.1111/sed.12143

    McGee, B., Collins, A.S., Trindade, R. in press. Age and Provenance of the Cyrogenian to Cambrian passive margin to foreland basin sequence of the northern Paraguay Belt, Brazil. Geological Society of America, Bulletin.


    Plavsa D., Collins, A.S., Payne, J.L., Foden, J.D., Clark, C. and Santosh, M. 2014. Detrital Zircons in Basement Metasedimentary Protoliths Unveil the Origins of Southern India. Geological Society of America, Bulletin, 126, 791-811.

    Le Heron, D. P., Busfield, M.E. & Collins, A.S. 2014. Bolla Bollana boulder beds: A Neoproterozoic trough mouth fan in South Australia? Sedimentology, 61, 978-995.

    Kakar, M.I., Kerr, A.C., Mahmood, K., Collins, A.S., Khan, M. and McDonald, I. 2014. Supra-subduction zone tectonic setting of the Muslim Bagh Ophiolite, northwestern Pakistan: insights from geochemistry and petrology. Lithos, 202-203, 190-206.

    Glorie, S., De Grave, J., Singh, T., Payne, J. L., Collins, A.S. 2014. Crustal Root of the Eastern Dharwar Craton: Zircon 1 U-Pb Age and Lu-Hf Isotopic Evolution of the East Salem Block, southeast India. Precambrian Research, 249, 229-246.

    Nettle, D., Halverson, G.P., Cox, G.M., Collins, A.S., Schmitz, M., Gehling, J., Johnson, P.R., Kadi, K. 2014. A Middle-Late Ediacaran Volcano-Sedimentary Record from the Eastern Arabian-Nubian Shield. Terra Nova, 26, 120-129.

    Sen, K., Mukherjee, B.K. and Collins, A.S., in press. Reply to comment on “Interplay of deformation and magmatism in the Pangong Transpressional Zone, Eastern Ladakh, India: Implications for remobilization of the trans-Himalayan magmatic arc and initiation of the Karakoram Fault”. Journal of Structural Geology, 62, 13-24.

    Collins, A.S., Clark, C. & Plavsa, D. 2014. Peninsular India in Gondwana: The Tectonothermal Evolution of the Southern Granulite Terrane and its Gondwanan Counterparts. Gondwana Research, 25, 190-203.

    Sen, K., Mukherjee, B.K. and Collins, A.S., 2014. Interplay of deformation and magmatism in the Pangong Transpression Zone, eastern Ladakh, India: Implications for remobilization of the trans-Himalayan magmatic arc and initiation of the Karakoram Fault. Journal of Structural Geology, 62, 13-24.


    Sen, K. & Collins, A.S. 2013. Dextral Transpression and Late-Eocene Magmatism in the Trans-Himalayan Ladakh Batholith (North India): Implications for Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Indo-Eurasian Collision Arc. International Journal of Earth Science, 102, 1895–1909

    Fritz, H., Abdelsalam, M., Ali, K.A., Bingen, B., Collins, A.S., Fowler, A.R., Ghebreab, W., Hauzenberger, C.A., Johnson, P., Kusky, T., Macey, P., Muhongo, S., Stern, R.J., Viola, G. 2013. Orogen styles in the East Africa Orogens: A review of the Neoproterozoic to Cambrian Tectonic Evolution. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 86, 65-106.

    McGee, B., Collins, A.S. & Trindade, R.I.F. 2013. A glacially incised canyon in Brazil: Further evidence for mid-Ediacaran glaciation? The Journal of Geology, 121, 275-287.

    Sen, K. & Collins, A.S. 2013. Reply to comment on “Dextral Transpression and Late-Eocene Magmatism in the Trans-Himalayan Ladakh Batholith (North India): Implications for Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Indo-Eurasian Collision Arc”. International Journal of Earth Science, 102, 973-975.

    Jamshidi-Bahr, M., Collins, A.S., Masoudi, F., Cox, G. & Mohajel, M., 2013. The U-Pb age, geochemistry and tectonic significance of granitoids in The Soursat complex, Northwest Iran. Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, 22, 1-31.


    Plavsa, D., COLLINS, A.S., Foden, J.F.,  Kropinski, L. Santosh, M., Chetty, T.R.K and Clark, C. 2012. Delineating crusal domains in Peninsular India: Age and chemistry of orthopyroxene-bearing felsic gneisses in the Madurai Block. Precambrian Research. 198-199, 77-93.

    Kakar, M.I., Collins, A.S., Mahmood, K., Foden, J.D. and Khan, M. 2012. U-Pb Zircon Crystallization Age of the Muslim Bagh Ophiolite: Enigmatic Remains of an Extensive Pre-Himalayan Arc? Geology. 40, 1099-1102.

    Ustaömer, P.A., Ustaömer, T., Gerdes, A., Robertson, A.H.F. and Collins, A.S., 2012. Evidence of Precambrian sedimentation/magmatism and Cambrian metamorphism in the Bitlis Massif, SE Turkey utilising whole-rock geochemistry and U-Pb LA-ICP-MS zircon dating. Gondwana Research. 21, 1001-1018

    McGee, B., Halverson, G.P. and Collins, A.S., 2012. Cryogenian Rift-Related Magmatism and Sedimentation: South-western Congo Craton, Namibia. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 76, 34-49

    McGee, B., COLLINS, A.S. and Trindade, R.I.F. 2012. G'day Gondwana - the final accretion of a supercontinent: U-Pb ages from the post-orogenic Sao Vicente Granite, northern Paraguay belt, Brazil. Gondwana Research, 21, 316-322.

    Jamshidi-Badr, M., Masoudi, F., Collins, A.S., Mohajjel, M. 2012. Mineralogical evidence for regional metamorphism overprinted by contact metamorphism. Acta Geologica Sinica-English Edition, 86, 48-64

    Tohver, E., COLLINS, A.S., Babinski, M. and Trindade, R.I.F. 2012. Assembling two easy pieces: the geology of western Gondwana and plate tectonic theory - An introduction to the special volume. Gondwana Research 21, 311-315.

    Kakar, M.I., Mahmood, K., Collins, A.S., Kahn, M., Shah, M.T. and Kasi, K. 2012. Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of volcanic rocks from the Bagh complex, Northern Balochistan, Pakistan. Journal of Himalayan Earth Sciences. 45, 17-29

    COLLINS, A.S., Kinny, P.D., Razakamanana, T. 2012. Depositional age, provenance and metamorphic age of metasedimentary rocks of southern Madagascar. Gondwana Research, 21, 353-361.

    Cox, G.M., Lewis, C.J., COLLINS, A.S., Halverson, G.P., Jourdan, F., Foden, J., Nettle, D., Kattan, F. 2012. Ediacaran terrane accretion in the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Gondwana Research, 21, 341-352.


    Smithies, R.H., Howard, H.M., Evins, P.M., Kirkland, C.L., Kelsey, D.E., Hand, M., Wingate, M.T.D., COLLINS, A.S., Belousova, E. 2011. High-temperature granite magmatism, UHT metamorphism and crust-mantle interaction - the Mesoproterozoic evolution of the Musgrave Province, central Australia's long-lived hot spot. Journal of Petrology.

    Le Heron, D.P., Cox, G.M., Trundley, A.E., COLLINS, A.S. 2011. Sea-ice free conditions in the depths of the early Cryogenian (Sturt) glaciation, South Australia. Geology. 39, 31-34

    Le Heron, D.P., Cox, G., Trundley, A.E., COLLINS, A.S. 2011. Cryogenian (Sturt and Elatina) glacial sediment records of South Australia. Precambrian Research.


    McGee, B., Giles, D., Kelsey, D.E., COLLINS, A.S. 2010. Feedbacks between deformation, metamorphism and melting in a granulite-facies gold deposit. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 167, 1089-1104.

    COLLINS, A.S., Clark, C., Chetty, T.R.K., Santosh, M., 2010. Ediacaran-Cambrian tectonic evolution of southern India. Indian Journal of Geology, 80, 23-40.

    Halverson, G.P., Hurtgen, M.T., Porter, S.M., COLLINS, A.S. 2009. Neoproterozoic-Cambrian biogeochemical evolution. In C. Gaucher, A.N. Sial, G.P. Halverson and H.E. Frimmel (eds.). Neoproterozoic-Cambrian tectonics, global change and evolution: a focus on southwestern Gondwana. Developments in Precambrian Geology, Volume 16, Elsevier, pp. 351-365.

    Raimondo, T., COLLINS, A.S., Hand, M., Walker-Hallam, A., Smithies, R.H., Evins, P.M., Howard, H.M. 2010. The anatomy of a deep intracontinental orogen. Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2009TC002504.

  • Professional Associations

    Member of the Geological Society of Australia

    Member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia

    Ex-President of the International Association for Gondwana Research.

    2005-2009 Secretary of the UNESCO International Geological Correlation Programme Project 509 (Palaeoproterozoic Supercontinents and Evolution).

    2005-2007 Chair of the Specialist Group in Tectonics and Structural Geology (SGTSG) of the Geological Society of Australia.

    Associate Editor of the Journal 'Gondwana Research'.

    Member of the Editorial Board of Precambrian Research.

    2005-2011 Subject Editor for the Journal of the Geological Society, London.

    Co-opted editor of the Tanzanian Journal of Earth Sciences

    Member of the Mineralogical Society of America Member of the Geological Society of America Member of the American Geophysical Union

  • Files

  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesScience & Technology
    Expertisegeology; structural geology; earthquakes; tectonics; gondwana; snowball earth; neoproterozoic; rock deformation; formation of mountain ranges; plate tectonics; amalgamation of Australia; faults; folds; dating rocks; geochronology
    NotesDirector of the Centre for Tectonics, Resources and Exploration (TRaX) Associate Professor in Structural Geology at the University of Adelaide

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Entry last updated: Sunday, 18 Oct 2020

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