The clientele serviced from the ABTC includes staff in the Evolutionary Biology Unit, other South Australian Museum staff, researchers from other museums both in Australia and overseas, other State and Commonwealth Government institutions, universities and non-government organisations.
The interaction usually involves a collaborative research effort in which the client contributes material to the collection that is either stored long-term or becomes the subject of an immediate research project. Occasionally frozen material is simply held until the “owner” can make arrangements for its long-term storage or use somewhere else. Increasingly, other researchers request “grants” from the collection for their own independent research.
Access to material from the ABTC is managed through the ABTC Grant Policy. A fee is charged for “grants” on an individually negotiated basis. The purpose of the fee is to cover the time spent retrieving tissue samples and some component of the infrastructure costs of maintaining the collection (freezer maintenance and replacements). The fee does not make a charge for the value of the material, as this would contravene State and Federal laws prohibiting commercial trade in wildlife species. The fee does not seek to recover any of the costs incurred in collection of the material. Requests for grants of tissues currently average one per week.