Synopsis for 11:370:414.

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Instructor: Denise Gemmellaro (
Semester, Period & Format: Spring; M, W (9:15 – 10:35) Lecture/Lab
Location: Blake Hall 101
Pre-requisites: 11:370:381: Insect Biology (suggested)
Required Texts:
Byrd, J.H. and J. L. Castner.  (eds.)  2009.  Forensic Entomology:  The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations – Second Edition.  CRC Press, Inc.  Boca Raton, Florida. 
Catts, E.P. and N.H. Haskell. 1990. Entomology and Death: A procedural guide. Joyce’s Print Shop, Inc. Clemson, South Carolina.(optional)
Description: This course will examine the roles that insects play in the field of Forensic Science. Specifically, we will be focusing on the entomological contributions that have served to further our understanding of how both human and animal remains decompose, as well as how insects can be employed in neglect, abuse, and food contamination cases. You will learn to identify forensically important insects, in partnership with proper collection and rearing techniques, and how to properly read and analyze scientific papers. The overall goal is to gain an understanding of how forensic entomology is utilized in law and in the courtroom.
Course Learning Goals:

  •  Understand  how forensic entomology is utilized in law and in the courtroom
  • ?Have familiarity with techniques used to identify forensically important insects
  • ?Know how insects are used in neglect, abuse, and food contamination cases
  • ?Be able to properly collect and rear forensically important insects
  • ?Learn the proper way to prepare and write a case report

Student Learning Assessment: [% of final grade]

  • Three hourly exams [50%]                                 150 points  
  • Four Lab Identification Quizzes [20%]            60 points  
  • Written Critique [3%]                                      10 points
  • Comparison Paper [10%]                                30 points
  • Case Report [17%]                                          50 points

TOTAL = 300 points
Contact Information:
Denise Gemmellaro
Thompson Hall

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