Frozen Tissue Collection

Our extensive collections are a valuable resource for the investigation of biodiversity, population genetics, phylogenetics and more.

DNA lab Frozen Tissue Collection

Andrew King © Australian Museum

The Frozen Tissue Collection 

As part of the Australian Museum Genetics Laboratory we also manage and curate the Australian Museum Frozen Tissue Collection. This collection comprises many thousand frozen specimens.

Our Frozen Tissue Collection is held in ultra cold freezers at approximately -86°C. These freezers keep our many thousands of tissue samples in long term archival storage conditions, for future use in genetics studies.

These samples are used for the museums' research projects and may also be loaned to researchers throughout Australia and the world to supplement their research.

Freezer facts

  • The temperature inside our ultra cold freezers is -86 degrees celsius (pretty cold when you consider your domestic freezer at home is -20 degrees celsius).
  • We have six freezers, each freezer contains over 10 000 unique samples.
  • Our freezers are connected to an emergency backup system so even if the entire site is blacked out our freezers still maintain their temperature.

Where are our samples from?

Our Freezers contain DNA and tissue of species from locations across Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific Ocean, including:

  • bats from Papua New Guinea
  • whales from southern Australian waters
  • snails from Artesian Springs
  • fish from the Philippines
  • and many thousands of other species!

Using specimens from the collection

At the discretion of the collection manager, limited samples from the Australian Museum tissue collection may be available for loan to established researchers, by request, and following the submission and approval of a signed tissue licence agreement.

The AM tissue collection is a valuable and finite resource. Please note that the Australian Museum tissue collection is typically only for use in supplementing external research projects – where the addition of representative taxa would enhance an existing data set/study - and not intended to provide the majority of samples for a project.

Dr Rebecca Johnson , Acting Head, Science Services & Infrastructure
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