Collin enjoys playing the piano and composing music. He'd like to be a marine biologist. "Protecting our marine resources could be a major factor in the future of our planet," Collin says.
Collin became interested in red tide after this type of algal bloom hit his hometown. He wondered whether powdered clay might stick to the organisms that cause red tide and pull them to the seafloor, solving the problem. He hypothesized that clay native to Florida would remove red tide organisms better than other clays.
Collin added different concentrations of a Florida clay and a non-Florida clay to test tubes containing a red tide organism, Karenia brevis. After letting the clays settle, he compared how many organisms were left in the water compared to those in untreated test tubes. He found that the non-Florida clay removed more organisms than the Florida clay. He also discovered that a commercial flocculent powder, which he thought might improve the clays' efficiencies, actually did the opposite.