Student Research

Current Student Research Projects

Student Research #1

Immunochromatographic analysis to assay for hemoglobin preserved in maggot crops as a presumptive test for human blood presence at crime scenes

Student extracting maggot crops MU student (left) shown extracting maggot crop contents to be used in an immunochromatographic assay to test for the presence of human blood. The goal of this project was to modify an existing technique crime scene investigators currently use to test for human blood at a crime scene to be applied on collected maggot crops in order to verify that maggots fed on human remains and not a nearby animal carcass.
Student recording maggot crop results MU student (left) recording positive/negative results from assayed maggot crops. This research will be presented at the 5th Annual North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA) conference in Vancouver, British Columbia in July 2007.

Student Research #2

Quantitative Measurement of Biological Substances for Forensic Analysis

Student using gas chromatography MU student (left) shown using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry to detect and quantify the amount of cocaine residue extracted from paper currency. Published methods are being adapted to allow implementation as a laboratory experiment in an analytical biochemistry course. This project will provide advanced, upper-level biochemistry students an opportunity to consider a forensic application of bioanalytical techniques.

Past Student Research Projects

  1. The Role of Aquatic Organisms in Pig Decomposition in Streams
  2. Using Algae to Determine a Postmortem Submersion Interval in Ponds
  3. The Effects of Insecticide on Pig Decomposition
  4. The effect of bleach on pig decomposition
  5. Determining a postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) based on algal/diatom diversity on decomposing mammalian carcasses in brackish ponds in Delaware