Molecular biology in forensic entomology


Forensic entomology involves the use of the study of arthropods to resolve questions of legal importance. The examination of insects and other arthropods at homicide scenes can yield significant information about the deceased, including time and location of death and post-mortem movement.

Molecular biology has a growing role to play in this field. In this webinar, Dr. Aaron Tarone of Texas A&M University Department of Entomology describes some of the molecular methods used in modern forensic entomology. The webinar features a case study that illustrates the application of these methods and discusses the future of molecular biology in this field. The information that can be obtained includes:

Confirmation of arthropod species identity
Estimation of larval age
Details of post-mortem movement

Dr. Aaron Tarone

Dr. Aaron Tarone is an Assistant Professor of Entomology at Texas A&M University and a member of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences faculty there. He has published widely on forensic entomology and the application of molecular methods in this field, and is heavily involved in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Interdisciplinary Research Program.

His academic career has covered many fields. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics at UC Davis, Dr. Tarone worked in the Section of Evolution and Ecology. He went on to do a PhD in Zoology at Michigan State University under Dr. David Foran, Director of the Forensic Science Program. He went on to study molecular and computational biology as part of the University of Southern California’s post-doctorate program. After finishing this post-doctorate program, he moved to Texas A&M University.