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Our Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics manages and curates the Museum's Frozen Tissue Collection. This ever expanding collection currently comprises around 80 000 specimens. Our freezers keep our many thousands of tissue samples in long term archival storage conditions for future use in genomic studies.

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

Discover our Freezer facts

How we are 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 Australian Museum frozen tissue collection is a valuable and finite resource and 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.

What temperatures are they kept at?

  • The temperature inside our ultra cold freezers is -80 degrees Celsius (pretty cold when you consider your domestic freezer at home is -20 degrees celsius).
  • We have seven freezers, each freezer contains over 10 000 unique samples.
  • Our freezers are connected to 24 hour monitoring system and an emergency backup generator so even if the entire site is blacked out our freezers still maintain their temperature.

Where are our samples from?

Our tissue collections contain DNA and tissue samples of species from across the globe. Our largest collections come from Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific Ocean and include:

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

Frozen Tissue Collection