Marine Invertebrates Department
Loan requests are
considered on a
case by case basis,
and require the
approval of the
curator. Loans are
made to institutions,
and in the care
of a permanent,
senior staff member.
Please refer to
Policy for general
the Curator for
Collection Access & Use Policy
Access to the collection is open to qualified
visitors, researchers and students. Contact
the Curator for further information.
A limited amount of funding is available for
researchers to use the collections. The Museum
of Comparative Zoology periodically awards Ernst
Mayr Grants to systematists who need to
make short museum visits in order to undertake
research needed for the completion of taxonomic
revisions and monographs.
Destructive Sampling Policy
In order to balance the need to preserve specimens for future use with
the need to conduct appropriate research, the following guidelines will
be used in making decisions about use of MCZ specimens:
- The term "destructive sampling" applies to any procedure
done with an MCZ specimen that results in the alteration of the condition
of the specimen. This includes dissections, SEM preparations, DNA analysis,
mounting or remounting of specimens on microscope slides, clearing or staining,
removal of parasites or commensals.
- All requests for destructive sampling will be made in writing, and
will contain the following information:
- What specimens are needed.
- What will be done to the specimens.
- How it will be done.
- Why it is necessary.
- During any destructive procedure, as much of the specimen as possible
will be kept in the original condition.
- Any material remaining after the analysis will be returned to the MCZ.
- The specimens and all dissected parts. Detached parts should be housed
in microvials or other appropriate containers, and included in the container
with the dissected specimen. Care should be taken that the separate vial
does not damage other specimens in the container.
- SEM stubs.
- For specimens used in DNA analysis, the samples must be kept in appropriate
DNA storage facilities, and the MCZ will be informed of the location of
the samples. When the MCZ obtains its own DNA storage facilities, the samples
will be returned to the Museum.
- Specimens mounted or remounted on microscope slides should be labeled
with specimen data. The date, mounting medium, and name of person mounting
the specimen should be recorded on the slide. All original slide labels
should be preserved and placed on the new slide.
- Decisions to grant or not grant permission for destructive sampling
will be based on:
- Uniqueness of the specimen. Any procedure that will destroy either
holotypes, or specimens of endangered species, will be denied.
- Degree of destruction.
- Significance of research.