This research aims to obtain the most reliable ΔR results possible using known age shells collected prior to the detonation of thermonuclear weapons. These guidelines have been compiled in order to facilitate the search for suitable shells.


1. Shellfish must have been collected live.
2. Collection date must be known, and date of collection must be before 1950.
3. The geographic location of shellfish when collected must be known.

Other useful information:

1. Name of museum and if possible name of collection/museum acquisition number for each shell.
2. Year of museum acquisition (may be different from year of collection).
3. Name of original collector.
4. Name of submitter (you!).
5. Family, Genus & Species name.
6. Dietery preferences (eg. carnivore, filter feeder etc)*.
7. Habitat (eg. open marine, estuarine, etc).

*Dietary information for a number of shellfish species can be found in the Shellfish Database.

Submitting Samples:

Packages should be couriered to the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory. Our courier address is:

Waikato Radiocarbon dating Laboratory,
The University of Waikato,
Gate 9, Hillcrest Rd,

All packages should be labelled “Scientific samples only - No commercial value”.
Could submitters please ensure that age, sample location and sample type is included with all specimens sent to us in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations. This information can be filled out on our sample submission forms. Please also include a hard copy of our Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry plant import permit (MAF Permit). The MAF permit number must be written on the outside packaging. Samples will be archived at the University of Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory.

Guidelines for the collection of shells
Guidelines for the collection of shells