Essential Forensic Biology

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Aug 4, 2006 - Science - 304 pages
Essential Forensic Biology is an introduction to the application of the science of biology in legal investigations. Focusing on the legal system in the UK, the book provides a detailed description of the decay process, and discusses the role of forensic indicators - human fluids and tissues, including blood cells, bloodstain pattern analysis, hair, teeth, bones and wounds. It also considers the role microorganisms, invertebrates and plants play within forensic investigations before considering future directions in forensic science. The book examines the study of forensic biology in cases of suspicious death, and also explores the organisms used in a range of legal investigations; from human and animal neglect to food spoilage, structural damage, the illegal collection/trade of protected species and bioterrorism. 

Essential Forensic Biology fills the gap for a resource, which provides information on the range of biological organisms; animals, plants and microbes used in forensic studies. An invaluable introductory text for all students taking forensic science courses, the book features a fully integrated website that covers forensic entomology with additional material and figures from the text to enhance student understanding.

  • An introduction covering the essentials of forensic biology
  • Features a fully integrated website covering forensic entomology with additional material and self-test questions to reinforce student understanding
  • Each chapter includes a series of questions and topics for further study
  • Focuses on the UK legal system

From the reviews:

“…the numerous black and white photographs, drawings and tables within the book are clear and well deployed.” TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT, 23rd February 2007


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The decay process
Body fluids and molecular biological techniques as forensic indicators
Human tissues and wounds as forensic indicators
Bacteria and viruses in forensic science
Protists fungi and plants in forensic science
Invertebrates in forensic science
Forensic information gained from invertebrates
Vertebrates in forensic science
Collection of animal and plant material for forensic studies
future directions in forensic biology

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About the author (2006)

Dr Alan Gunn is senior lecturer and Zoology Programme Director at the School of Biological & Earth Sciences, at John Moores University.  He has written numerous papers on parasitology, the biology of blowflies, the physiology and behaviour of agricultural pests and ecotoxicology, and develops computer based learning tools to support his teaching in these areas. He is interested in the effectiveness of enquiry-based learning as a means of enhancing student performance and has written several papers on this topic.

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