Q. I have a technical problem with sampling

A. Check out our technical troubleshooting section on the Instructions page


Q. Timing: when does sampling start?

A. You can now start whenever you are ready once you have your equipment and contracts and permits, and are able to log in to the LIFEPLAN app and the LIFEPLAN Nextcloud server.


Q. Timing: When is the deadline for signing up?

A. Site selections is mostly done - if your location is in an area where we do not yet have sites you may still be considered (China, North Africa, Kazakhstan, Iran...)


Q. Sampling devices: What if one of the devices breaks or is stolen?

A. We hope that you take all possible measures to keep them intact, but if such damage happens, we will provide a replacement if the budget that we have reserved for such cases allows.


Q. Sampling devices: Who owns the sampling devices? Do I have to return them at the end of the project? Can we use them in other projects?

A. The devices paid for by LIFEPLAN are the property of LIFEPLAN. You can use them also for other projects already during LIFEPLAN, as long as you prioritise the LIFEPLAN sampling. You don't need to return the devices in the end, so you can keep them for your own research after the project ends in 2025.


Q. Data: Will our team have access to the results of the analysis from our area and other areas? Will we be able to use this data for our publications as well?

A. Yes and yes


Q. Locations: I don't think it's possible for me to sample an urban location where I am. Can I still participate?

A. In some places, the urban location can mean the neighborhood of a village of 100 inhabitants. But we understand that urban sampling might be difficult in some places due to security or permit concerns. The natural/urban comparison is an important part of LIFEPLAN, so we will be prioritising teams that can sample such pairs. Please do sign up anyway and explain your concerns in the sign-up form - maybe we can help in some way. We may also make exceptions for really valuable natural locations.


Q. Locations: can the urban location be on a roof?

A. No, we need non-flying animals to be able to reach the camera traps.


Q. Sampling: Do you need a permanent power supply to participate?

A. No, all sampling devices run on batteries. You will need to purchase and transport a car battery for the cyclone sampler yourself.


Q. Sampling: What car battery do I need?

A. A 12 V car/bike battery. To power the cyclone sampler for 48 hours you will need at least 30 Ah, but as this is temperature dependant and a battery's capacity degrades over time, it is best to buy a bigger one if there is large temperature variation at you site.


Q. Sampling: What kind of alcohol should I use in the Malaise trap?

A. Use pure ethanol, not denatured, of at least 95% strength. This will preserve DNA consistently so that samples from different sites are comparable.


Q. Payment: If I pay for the sampling myself, how do I order it?

A. We will arrange for equipment sellers and sequencing labs to send you bills for your share, get in touch with us to agree the details.


Q. Authorship: Can I add a co-author later on?

A. We can usually accommodate a co-author later on provided they made a significant contribution to sampling. We can accommodate a maximum of five co-authors per site so that the number of co-authors in the eventual publications stays manageable.