An entomologist, her research interests include the effect of environmental conditions on insect populations and pest management systems for field vegetable and bulb crops.
She said: "The centre is well positioned to draw on the wider pool of research expertise both within the new School of Life Sciences and the university as a whole to help meet the research needs of land-based industries."
The industry warmly welcomed Collier's appointment, interpreting it as a serious commitment to the centre. Vegetable Consultants Association chairman Professor Geoffrey Dixon said: "It's the best thing it could have possibly done. If you needed a totem that Warwick is serious about what it intends to do, then the appointment is just that.
"She is undoubtedly the best person for the job. She has a good knowledge of science and one foot in the furrow - she is well respected by the industry. She has accepted quite a bed of nails, but if anyone can make it work, she will."
The university has also confirmed that the genetic resources unit will be part of the crop centre. Collier's appointment follows that of Professor John McCarthy, who was recently announced as head of the University of Warwick's new School of Life Sciences.