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This UK-wide collaboration has created the UK’s first comprehensive zoological biobank for research and conservation. CryoArks is funded by BBSRC (BBR) and is a consortium of Museums, Zoos, Academic Institutions and Biobanks.

Last updated: 11 August 2022

About the project

Biological samples from wild and zoo animals are valuable sources of genetic material, providing a wealth of information that can support conservation management as well as fundamental, biological research.

CryoArks is a partnership project, which is bringing together millions of biological samples held in disconnected collections across zoos, museums and academic collections, into a publicly visible and accessible biobank. As a CryoArks partner, National Museums Scotland has established the physical infrastructure and protocols required to biobank genetic material at -80°C.

Project details

Project title

CRYOARKS: Establishing a UK-wide zoological biobank

Project active

2018 - 2022

Research theme


Find out more about CryoArks

Dr Andrew Kitchener - Principal Investigator - National Museums Scotland

Professor Michael Bruford - University of Cardiff

Dr Aidan Emery - Natural History Museum

Dr Helen Senn - Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Professor Rob Ogden - Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Dr Lisa Yon - University of Nottingham

Farré, M., Johnstone, C., Hopper, J., Kitchener, A.C., Roos, C. King, T. 2022. Novel mtDNA haplotypes represented in the European captive population of the Endangered François’ langur (Trachypithecus francoisi). International Journal of Primatology 43: 533-537

Biobanks are curated collections of biological samples (such as tissue, blood, serum, DNA, gametes and cell lines) that are collected, preserved and maintained along with their associated data, following international standards and guidelines. CryoArks partners offer physical storage (at both -196°C and -80°C), a searchable database, on-site assistance in archiving sample material, and advice on embedding biobank sample collection during routine veterinary care and fieldwork. In conjunction with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, National Museums Scotland’s Biobank is promoting the benefits and needs of zoological biobanking in the UK to a wide range of audiences across the research and public sectors.

Email icon Dr Andrew Kitchener


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