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Marine Sediment - Cold Storage

For use in all countries. Note that if collecting mangrove or estuarine sediment, this kit is not suitable outside the UK and EU.

  • All kit users must familiarize themselves with data requirements set out in the Sample Manifest, prior to sampling.
  • Please ensure all information sent to NatureMetrics is in English.
  • Datasheets must be completed using a pencil only.

Temperature considerations:

Packing and transport guidance must be followed very closely for this kit to minimize the chances of analysis results being influenced by temperature changes during transport.

To ensure that samples have not been compromised by temperature changes during transport, the maximum accepted temperature on arrival to our lab is 10°C.

Important: If using this kit outside the UK, you must use an ultra-low temperature industrial-grade freezer (-45°C to -86°C). If you do not have access to an ultra-low temperature freezer, you will need to use our preservative buffer kit instead.

Using the Kit

Kit Contents

1x pair of nitrile gloves

1x pair of nitrile gloves

1 x 25ml scoop in snaplock bag

1 x 25ml scoop in snaplock bag

1 x 25ml scoop in snaplock bag

1 x barcoded sealable mailer bag

1 x barcoded sealable mailer bag

1 x sampling datasheet

Vampire Pump

This can be hired from NatureMetrics.
vampire pump pump head (A)

1 x pump head (A)

vampire pump drive unit

1 x drive unit (B)


  • Device to capture GPS coordinates (lat / long) (e.g. GPS capable smartphone or standalone GPS device)
  • Permanent marker (for labelling the sample bags)
  • Pencil (to complete the datasheet)
  • Cool box/bag with ice packs (for keeping samples cool while in the field)
  • An ultra-low temperature (-45°C to -86°C) industrial-grade freezer (to prepare samples for shipment if posting from outside the UK)
  • Disinfectant wipe (to wipe down any reusable tools, such as scoops or spoons – to minimize contamination)



To obtain a better representation of the sediment community, it is important to combine four subsamples into one composite sample. Each scoop represents a single subsample. Thus, 4 x 10mL subsamples (approximately 40g in total) will comprise a full sample. We cannot accept samples larger than 50g – do not exceed x4 sediment scoops per sample


  • One sediment sample = x4 full scoops (the scoop in the kit is used to collect each scoop).

Use a new kit for each new sample. This kit is designed to take one composite sample (not exceeding 50g) consisting of multiple subsample scoops. The barcodes on the sample pot and the sampling datasheet within each kit match, please do not mix and match between kits.

Grab or core should be intact and the surface sediment should not be disturbed. We recommend taking another grab or core if the surface sediment is not intact, particularly if you are trying to sample to top layer of the sediment. Collect sediment samples from greater than 2 cm from the grab or core device to minimize contamination.

Avoid contamination issues by not collecting cores from sediment touching the sides of the grab device. Gloves should be changed between each composite sample/kit. If any reusable tools, such as scoops or spoons, are used, they should be decontaminated with a disinfectant wipe (not included in the kit) between each composite sample. Gloves should be worn when handling the disinfectant wipe. Take samples greater than 2cm from edge of grab or core device to minimize contamination.

More than one person using the kit? Please purchase extra gloves.
To minimize waste we provide one pair of gloves per kit. If two or more people will be handling the contents of the kit and collecting an eDNA sample, you will need to purchase additional pairs of gloves – enough for one pair of gloves for each individual handling the kit. We recommend purchasing medical-grade nitrile gloves.


To get the best results possible, to avoid inconclusive results, and to avoid situations where data cannot be reported from a sample, please read our HOW TO AVOID INCONCLUSIVE RESULTS guide before undertaking fieldwork.

In summary, when inconclusive results occur, it is because the target DNA was not detected, DNA was degraded, or PCR (a crucial part of the lab process) was inhibited.

Key steps you can take to help avoid inconclusive results: do not leave your samples exposed to sunlight or heat, and return samples to NatureMetrics as soon as possible after sampling.


1. Label the clear snap lock sample bag containing the scoop with your unique sample ID.

2. Put on provided gloves to minimise cross contamination and introducing your own DNA into the sample.

3. Remove any flora, fauna, or debris from the surface where you intend to collect the scoop. This can be done with a gloved hand.

4. Remove the scoop from the bag and keep hold of the bag because your sample will go into this.

5. Take the sediment sample using the scoop, a twisting action can help in sticky sediments.

6. Empty the sediment sample into the snap lock bag. Seal or fold over the top of the bag between subsamples to prevent contamination of the sample.

7. Repeat steps 5-6 at different locations within the sediment grab, using the same scoop, until you have collected four subsamples. x4 scoops = x1 sample. Do not exceed four cores.

8. When all the subsamples have been collected in the bag, mix the sample together within the bag to homogenise. This can be done by “massaging” the outside of the bag with your hands and some careful shaking. Break up any clumps between your fingers.

9. Once homogenised, push/shake the sample to the bottom of the bag, roll the bag around the sample to expel excess air from the bag, and then seal.

10. Complete the sampling datasheet with a pencil (do not use pen as ink can easily run, to the point where it becomes unreadable).

Complete the sample manifest, which was attached to the email confirming shipping of your kits. Make sure that the unique sample IDs entered into the sample manifest exactly match what you have written on the sample bag. Please record your sampling data on paper and on the sample manifest so there is a physical and electronic copy of your data.

Upload your sample manifest using our Customer Service Desk.

11. Place both the sampling datasheet and the labelled bag of sediment into the barcoded mailer bag and then peel off strip to seal.

12. Sealed mailer bags should be placed in a cool box/bag with ice packs while in the field. Courier collection should be arranged as soon as possible after sampling. Samples need to be kept as cool as possible, and should be frozen prior to shipping.

You will be provided with a cold-storage box, in which to return your samples to us. View the protocol video at the top of this page for details and instructions on how to pack the box.

If sampling in the UK:

Freeze the gel packs provided for 24 hours in a standard freezer.

Load the samples and gel-packs into the provided cool box as close as possible to the shipment time to prolong the gel-packs effectiveness. In all cases gel packs must be packed on the day of courier collection.

If sampling outside the UK:

Freeze the gel packs provided in an ultra-low temperature industrial-grade freezer (-45°C to -86°C) for 72 hours, to ensure that the gel packs reach the minimum required temperature of -20°C prior to shipment. If access to an ultra-low temperature freezer is not possible, we recommend using our preservative buffer kit instead.

Load the samples and gel-packs into the provided cool box as close as possible to the shipment time to prolong the gel-packs effectiveness. In all cases gel packs must be packed on the day of courier collection.

Watch this short video to see how the international cold storage box is packed.

13. For sample returns, visit our customer support desk here. Use the Logistics Request form to upload your completed sample manifest and book your sample return. NatureMetrics is fully compliant with current legislation on the transport of biological material and our operations team are on hand to ensure that all return shipments meet the required specification. We are only able to analyze samples that are returned using the correct NatureMetrics logistics procedure.

Disclaimer: Safe sample collection is the responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics accepts no liability associated with the use of the kits and sample collection. The Client is solely responsible for the quality of the samples and the representativeness of the samples received by NatureMetrics. The information contained within the Final Report provided by NatureMetrics to the Client is not intended to be advisory, it is informational. Interpretation and decisions are the sole responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics does not accept any liability whatsoever for any reliance placed on any information contained within, or any use that may be made of, the Final Report by the Client. Please read the full limitation of liability statement in the Terms and Conditions.

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