Forensic Entomology


Forensic Entomology

A Linnean Lunchtime Lecture

12:30 Wednesday 5th November 2014

Dr Martin Hall

The science of forensic entomology, the interpretation of insect evidence in criminal investigations, is gaining increasing acceptance. Its principle application is in establishing a minimum post-mortem interval in cases of suspicious death, mainly by an analysis of insect development and/or insect succession on the body of the deceased in relation to temperature. However, insects are ubiquitous in nature and their evidence can have much wider application than in just the timing of death. For example in the timing of other events in a case (e.g. body deposition), in demonstrating where or how a body was stored post-mortem and if it was moved, in establishing a relationship between suspect and crime scene, in identification of gunshot and drug residues and even in identifying where a body might have been stored in the absence of a body, from the detection of a victim’s DNA on insect remains. For subjects of abuse or neglect, usually the young and elderly, the extent and duration of suffering can sometimes be demonstrated by aging larval infestations (termed myiasis) on the still living victims.

Today, Dr Martin Hall (Natural History Museum, London) will provide examples of the application of forensic entomology in criminal investigations, taking the audience from crime scene to court room via analysis in the laboratory, and will explore some of the challenges and opportunities in the future development of this branch of forensic science.

Linnean Lunchtime Lectures are free and open to all.

Doors open at 12:00 and tea and coffee will be served in the library following the event.

PLEASE NOTE: Straight after the Lunchtime Lecture there will be a Linnean Society Treasures Tour to the Linnean Society collections storeroom - places are limited and need to be reserved, click here for more details.

Image © Martin Hall