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Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Bock, Jane [1], Norris, David [1].

Botanical Applications to Forensic Science.

The US National Academy of Sciences (USNAS) has raised serious questions about the quality and validity of contemporary forensic science. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and other relevant organizations are addressing these concerns by helping to set national standards in science expertise to be used in our justice system. One aspect of forensic science not addressed by the USNAS is lesser known, but well tested forensic botany. Our poster illustrates the strengths of forensic botany in homicide investigations throughout the US and outside it. This is based on the authors’ personal experiences. Our purpose here is to attract the attention of botanists to this field and its consulting and career possibilities. Botanical evidence is readily accepted in Courts due to its well-documented, millennials long history. It readily passes Court tests (Daubert and Frye) for the admissibility of evidence. We illustrate how botanical evidence has multi-dimensional applications in criminal investigations based upon our experience in more than four dozen homicide investigations. Our poster stresses three aspects of botany: Plant Anatomy primarily with the use of light microscopy; Plant Taxonomy to accurately identify plant taxa; and Plant Ecology to answer questions concerning crime sites, victims and suspects. All three of these subdivisions of botany have been used to link victims and/or suspects and/or vehicles, clothing and other artifacts to each other in investigations. DNA evidence occasionally has proved useful. We will point out its strengths and weaknesses. The poster also touches on how some other subdivisions of botanical science can applied as well including palynology and diatomology. Algae, fungi, bryophytes, ferns and their allies, gymnosperms and flowering plants all have found uses in forensic work. Bock’s presence at the poster session will serve to answer questions about details of how powerful botanical contributions have assisted in both pre-trial and courtroom procedures.

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1 - University of Colorado, Boulder

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Development and Structure: Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PDS001
Abstract ID:85
Candidate for Awards:None

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