Biobank Closures

In response to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the CryoArks team is working remotely until further notice. We continue to provide advice to UK collections and are still accepting data-only submissions. In-situ supporting visits have been suspended temporarily, but we are available to discuss/arrange sample transfer for future donations and deal with any data management questions/requirements for pending transfers. For any queries, please contact us on


Animal biobanking for research and conservation

Why CryoArks?

Have you ever felt frustrated that you cannot access key samples for an animal genetics or genomics project? And would you know how to go about accessing such samples? Do you struggle to know how to best archive your samples? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, CryoArks is here to help!

The CryoArks biobank is an initiative that aims to bring together the diverse collections of animal frozen material found in museums, zoos, research institutes and universities across the UK to make them accessible to the UK’s research and conservation community.

A UK network of zoological biobanks that maintain frozen collections of animal genetic material to be used responsibly and sustainably in a wide range of applications that will further research knowledge and contribute to species conservation.


What samples are most needed?


Find out about our sampling initiative


Search available samples in our database


Request samples for your project


Contribute with data and/or samples

Improved access to biological resources

Seeking samples for your project? Looking for advice and assistance to improve the standard of your frozen collections? Want to have your samples securely stored and curated? Join our community today!
Mafalda Costa

The Nagoya Protocol

Katie Bird (BEIS) tells us how to ensure that the research we do and collections we hold comply UK legal requirements of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits sharing.

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In Action
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Ocean voyagers – the travels of northern rockhopper penguins across the high seas

The northern rockhopper penguins at Edinburgh Zoo are hugely popular with visitors, engaging and inspiring children and adults alike on a daily basis. This species is one of seven types of crested penguin which together form the Eudyptes genus, which means ’good diver’ in Ancient Greek. Read more about how samples available through CryoArks are helping to better understand this charismatic species.

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Mafalda Costa

GenRes Bridge Workshop

Sílvia Pérez-Espona attended two GenRes Bridge (Genetic resources for a food-secure and forested Europe) workshops as representative of IUCN’s CGSG and the CryoArks project. GenRes Bridge is an EU-funded project with the main objective to develop an integrated strategy and a framework for the crop, forest and animal genetic resources domains. The two back-to-back workshops took place in Tuusala (Finland) between 28th-31st of October 2019 and were organised by project partners from Luke and NIBIO.

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