Most tissues are associated with vouchers in the Burke specimen collection and were collected by Burke graduate students and staff during privately funded expeditions, or were salvaged with support from the National Science Foundation. The taxonomic breadth of the collection reflects our strong commitment to general (in addition to research-driven) collecting.
Regional strengths include: 1) birds and mammals from the Pacific Northwest, 2) North Pacific and New Zealand seabirds, 3) birds from Russia, Mongolia, and Tuva, 4) birds from the South Pacific (especially the Solomon Islands and Australia), and 5) birds from Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, and South Africa.
In the field, tissues are stored in liquid nitrogen whenever possible or in ethanol or lysis buffer where liquid nitrogen is impractical. At the museum, tissues are stored in five -80°C ultracold freezers. Each tissue is marked with a computer-generated label that provides basic information about the tissue's associated voucher specimen, and is cross-linked to its voucher specimen in our database.