Course: Bugs and Bodies: Forensic Entomology
Fall Semester - (1 credit)
Meets once a week, 6-9pm, 244B Natural Science Bldg, Michigan State University
View the syllabus for the Bugs & Bodies course
Forensic Entomology is the name given to any aspect of the study of insects that interact with legal matters. A major area of emphasis in this relatively new field of forensic science is the use of insects in establishing time estimation and geographic inferences related to location and time of human death, referred to as medico-legal entomology. This course will discuss what, why, and how insects are used in crime scene investigations and document several case histories where insects were important in establishing the time of death in murder investigations. It will involve some field work to help students understand collection methods, insect identification, and what is involved in determining the PMI. It also will introduce students to other types of forensic sciences, through guest lectures, as they relate to determining the postmortem interval.