Monday, January 20, 2014

Determining Postmortem Interval: Forensic Entomology

Investigating murders incorporates a host of different forensic professionals, all scientifically collaborating in an effort to corroborate their findings. Forensic entomology combines the study of insects and other arthropods with criminal investigations. In the case of a forensic entomologist; their job, when investigating a homicide, is to help determine the postmortem interval (or time elapsed since death; PMI) of a corpse based on the age of the insects present in the body. To do so, they must first identify the species of the insect. Each species of insect may have vastly different habits, behaviors, and growth rates.