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Introduction to Ecowarwicker Ecological Forensics

Thank you for your interest in EcoWarwicker. Here is some general information about the service.

Species IDs are based on a single guano where possible. It can be helpful to include more than one guano per sample so that we can use fresh guano if a repeat analysis is required. We attempt the analysis up to 3 times. We do not charge for samples which fail three attempts to sequence.

For mixed species assemblages where you wish to identify each species present, you should attempt to separate out samples to different containers prior to sending them. Please also label them so we can be sure they are separate samples and not "spare" guano. These will be processed and costed as separate samples.

If a sample does not work first time (which can happen for various reasons), we will repeat the analysis up to two more times free of charge. This can impact the turn around but we can often complete the standard service within the two-week period. We do not make a charge for any sample that fails all three attempts to sequence.

Please note that due to the high flowthrough of samples we do not routinely acknowledge receipt of samples.

We operate two priority schemes:

Standard Service: The standard service aims for an estimated two-week turn around from receipt of your sample to delivery of results by email. Please allow for postage time.

Premium Service: The premium service, which aims to deliver results in 7 working days following our receipt of sample. Please note that 7 days is the fastest we can complete the various processes and if a sample needs to be repeated then we will not be able to guarantee a result within the 7 working days. Given that each round of analysis can take up to 7 working days, it is possible that this can take up to but not exceeding 21 working days if the full 3 rounds are required. More often, the samples require only 1 or 2 rounds of testing. Please allow for postage time.

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is about cost options. Here is a brief overview of the costs depending on the turnaround time and payment method. More detailed information about each option can be found below:


Standard £54 per sample including VAT (£54 from 1st October 2017 see guide).

Premium £72 per sample including VAT (£72 from 1st October 2017 see guide).

If choosing this option please do not state "non-tab" as this will incur a higher rate. Simply state that you wish to pay online and whether standard or premium service is required. If paying online we do ask that clients do not make advance payment as you will need to quote our unique batID/ "Job number" which you will receive in your results letter so that we can keep track of payments. It can be very hard for us to identify which sample(s) have been paid for without our unique ID number, your own personal label is likely to be duplicated by others, there are numerous "Glebe Cottage"s, for instance.

Online payments do not require us to raise an invoice and can therefore be charged the same as tab rates (see below).

We can offer a VAT receipt if needed. Please email us to request this: bats[at] once payment has gone through.

TAB SYSTEM: Much like running a "tab" in a shop, we operate a tab system to suit previous requests made by clients. We only invoice after the client has received 8-10 or more results, though we do like to try to keep our records up to date so will occasionally invoice prior to the 8-10 sample threshold if the last samples sent in were from a long while ago. The tab system has several options. You can request standard or premium service.

TAB STANDARD: £54 per sample. (£54 from 1st October 2017 see guide) Estimated 2 week turn around. Payment via invoice.

TAB PREMIUM: £72 per sample. (£72 from 1st October 2017 see guide) Estimated 7 working day turn around. Payment via invoice.

NON TAB SYSTEM: Some clients prefer to be billed more often, or for particular projects. This allows clients to request an invoice for payment without first running up a tab of 8-10 samples, but the additional admin costs mean a slightly higher cost to the client.

NON TAB STANDARD SINGLE SAMPLE: £65 PLUS VAT. (£65 from 1st October 2017 see guide) Estimated 2 week turn around. Payment via invoice.

NON TAB STANDARD MULTIPLE SAMPLES: £60 PLUS VAT per sample (60 from 1st October 2017 see guide). Estimated 2 week turn around. Payment via invoice.

NON TAB PREMIUM SINGLE SAMPLE: £75 PLUS VAT. (£75 from 1st October see guide) Estimated 7 working day turn around. Payment via invoice.

NON TAB PREMIUM MULTIPLE SAMPLES: £70 PLUS VAT per sample. (£70 from 1st October 2017 see guide) Estimated 7 working day turn around. Payment via invoice.


Email address: We will need an email address to enable us to send you your results, and to contact you with any queries. Labs do not have private phones (many do not have any) and we will be in the labs or teaching a lot of the time so email is the best way to contact us.

Full contact name, company name and address, billing address: To enable us to raise invoices if required and to keep our database up to date. Even if you later become a regular client of the service, including these details with each sample you send helps to keep the process running smoothly and efficiently. If you have separate billing addresses for different departments within your company please make this clear in the correspondence included with the sample(s). Please note that we do not publicly share your information.

Purchase Order Number: Where this is required within your company.

Which service you require: and whether you wish to make use of the tab system.

Carefully packaged and clearly labelled samples: Labels can be for your own reference and can help us when identifying a sample if there is a query, and when sending out your result.

Please do not include slips of paper inside the actual container.

We will also assign our own unique ID number to each sample we receive. This should be quoted if paying online (it can be found in your result letter).

PACKAGING: Please use rigid, straight-sided plastic containers where possible. This helps to maintain the integrity of the guano. These can be old camera film boxes or other clean, small plastic lidded containers. We strongly recommend using bubble wrap or a padded or jiffy envelope to protect the samples while in transit. Paper envelopes are much more easily torn en route to us. We would also ask that you please ensure that you have paid correct postage as we cannot accept responsibility for samples that don’t reach us.

Packaging Tips: Please do not use plastic bags, bits of paper/tissue or envelopes to contain your sample(s) because guano become crushed, mixed and- with plastic bags- electrostatically charged making them difficult to select, handle, or even to remove from the bag. There is a considerable increase in handling time for samples sent in containers such as these, and we want to make sure you get your result as soon as possible. Containers we have had that worked quite well were tictac boxes, contact lens containers, empty kinder eggs (please tape up the air vents), clean empty cosmetic bottles/pots, sample tubes of various kinds.


Please send samples to:

Professor Robin Allaby FRSB FLS

School of Life Sciences

University of Warwick



If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.