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Forensic Entomology, Or What Bugs Can Tell Police About When Someone Died

Trust Me, I'm an Expert is a podcast produced by the independent, nonprofit publication The Conversation (previously featured in the 03-24-2017 Scout Report). The podcast is dedicated to getting the facts directly from specialists in their field, often drawing in experts on unusual subjects. One such topic is the focus of this short interview, which discusses the value of insects in the field of crime scene forensics. The episode features conversations with two scientists from the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER), Maiken Ueland and James Wallman. AFTER is what some call a "body farm" - a place where human decomposition is studied. The experts discuss how insects can be an integral piece of the puzzle in crime-solving because of their ability to detect death long before humans can, their profound impact on decomposition, and their use in determining time elapsed since death. The AFTER scientists also discuss how weather and time of year are important factors for decomposition and for insects' life and breeding cycles, which further narrow down the possibilities for time of death. In addition to this episode, readers are sure to enjoy other episodes of Trust Me, I'm an Expert, which is available on Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Radio Public, and more.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date Issued
October 6th, 2019
Date of Scout Publication
October 22nd, 2021
Date Of Record Creation
October 14th, 2021 at 2:17pm
Date Of Record Release
October 15th, 2021 at 8:48am
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