Skip Navigation or Skip to Content


Our specialist Biobank facility comprises thousands of frozen tissue samples used by researchers worldwide as sources of DNA.

COVID-19 Update 

As government restrictions continue to ease, the Biobank is now able to consider a small number of outgoing research loans. Requests may take longer than usual to process under current working conditions. Please email for information about how to donate or apply for samples, or for any other queries relating to the collection.

Our frozen tissue collection currently contains over 10,000 samples from animal specimens donated to our collections. The genetic material contained in each sample holds a wealth of information that can be used to facilitate fundamental scientific research and support conservation management of endangered species.

We work closely with universities and zoos to preserve specimens and tissue samples for non-commercial research purposes. Samples donated to our Biobank are currently managed as part of the Cryoarks Biobank initiative.



  • Dr Andrew Kitchener
  • Dr Gill Murray-Dickson
  • Dr Vladimir Blagoderov

Donating samples to our Biobank

In donating a sample to our Biobank:

  1. Ownership of the sample is transferred to the National Museums Scotland
  2. Use of the sample will be determined by the National Museums Scotland
  3. The sample data may be made publicly visible.

To donate samples to the Biobank, please contact Dr Gill Murray-Dickson (

To discuss all other vertebrate donations, including whole bodies, please contact Dr Andrew Kitchener (

Requesting samples from the Biobank

Samples may be requested from our Biobank and other CryoArks partners, for destructive sampling and use in non-commercial research.

To request samples, please contact Dr Gill Murray-Dickson (

Please be aware, it is the user’s responsibility to ensure all sample use complies with UK legislation on Access and Benefit Sharing (the Nagoya Protocol).

Please read the information on the Nagoya Protocol here prior to commencing your research.

Find out more

Back to top