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Université de Bordeaux

Matthew Collins

Last update Wednesday 15 December 2021

University of Cambridge, England and University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Matthew Collins

Matthew COLLINS is an international leading authority on palaeoproteomics and the 'Godfather' of bioarchaeology. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences. He is a Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Copenhagen and the McDonald Chair of Palaeoproteomics, based at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research within the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology. He has also a Professor position at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He previously founded BioArCh, a biomolecular archaeology laboratory at the University of York collaboration between the departments of biology, chemistry and archaeology (BioArCh: Biology Archaeology, Chemistry). He helped develop ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) a way to rapidly identify bone and other collagen based materials using peptide mass fingerprinting.

Matthew Collins recently received a prestigious ERC grant for research on old animal skins. He has coordinated two Marie Curie Training Sites (Biogeochemistry and GeneTime), and acted as coordinator of a third (Palaeo) as well as a member of the management team of both LeCHE (reported in a Nature Extended News Article, August 2013) and EUROTAST, and directs the MSC European Joint Doctoral Site, ArchSci2020. He was a panel speaker at the MSCA organised Future of the Doctorate meeting in Riga. MC has supervised 29 PhD students, seven of whom have won tenured positions and six Marie Curie Fellows all of whom have enjoyed successful careers. His research focuses on the decay pathways of proteins, enabling him to both recover sequences in deep time, and to use patterns of protein decay as a geochronological tool. He pioneered the analysis of amino acid decay in closed systems, thermal age modelling of protein decay, proteins from ancient dental calculus and rapid species identification of bone, antler and parchment. Collins’s research into ancient proteins has made significant contribution to the discipline of Archaeology as evidenced by his election to the Fellowship of the British Academy.