Our requirements for sample collection will depend on the environment from which the samples are being collected and the objectives of your project.
From freshwaters we require 250 ml of sample to carry out our analyses, from marine waters we require between 250 ml and 1,000 ml of sample depending upon your requirements.
Samples should be collected in clean, preferably clear, plastic sample bottles and a 10 mm – 20 mm air gap should be left at the top of the sample bottle.
Raw (unconcentrated) samples are preferred but, for marine samples, it can be useful to collect a concentrated sample using a phytoplankton net with a mesh size no greater than 20μm in addition to the raw sample.
The mechanics of sample collection (where to sample, sample depth, sampling equipment etc.) will vary according to your requirements. Please consult us before undertaking your sample collection for advice regarding sample collection.
Where possible, we prefer to receive live, unpreserved samples. Live samples must be received by us as soon as possible and no more than 24 hours after collection. If this is not possible, the samples must be preserved at the time of collection.
Samples can be preserved using Lugol’s Iodine Solution. We will not accept samples for analysis preserved in any other way.
There are several different protocols for the preparation and use of Lugol’s Iodine Solution; we follow those of the American Public Health Association (APHA, 2012). Please click here for instructions on how to prepare Lugol’s Iodine Solution and how much is required per sample.
Samples should be transported to us as soon as possible after collection. Samples should be packed securely in a suitable container which is hardy, light proof and waterproof. Packaged samples should be transported in a cool and dark environment.
Live samples must be received by us as soon as possible and no more than 24 hours after collection. If possible, live samples should not be refrigerated and should be transported at a temperature at, or up to 5°C below, the ambient temperature of the water from which they were collected. If this is not possible, samples should be transported with one or more frozen ice bricks (or equivalent), but these should be wrapped with cloth or newspaper so that they are not in direct contact with the samples. Under no circumstances should samples be frozen.
Preserved samples should be packaged in the same manner as live samples. While preserved samples do not require to be kept cold; the packaged samples should be transported in a cool and dark environment.