Forensic Entomology – Murder and Maggots

Forensic Entomology – Murder and Maggots


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Type

Forensic entomology is the study of the insects associated with a dead body in order to understand many aspects about the death, in particular, to estimate the elapsed time since death. In this presentation, Forensic Entomologist, Gail Anderson will explain how insects can be used to estimate elapsed time since death, in both the short and long term, as well as other factors about a crime scene such as position and presence of wounds etc. She will also discuss the role of entomology in animal abuse and neglect cases as well as present a major miscarriage of justice that was righted using forensic entomology.  True case histories will be used to illustrate the science. Some of the images will be disturbing. Not recommended for anyone under 15 without parental permission. Please do not take images of the slides.

Dr. Anderson is a Professor at SFU, Co-Director of the Centre for Forensic Research and holds a Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professorship. Since 1988, she has been a forensic entomology consultant to police, SPCA and Wildlife Enforcement and has testified as an expert witness many times. Anderson was a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the SFU Outstanding Alumni Award, the CSFS Derome Award for “outstanding contributions to the field of forensic science”, the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence and the AAFS, Path/Bio Award for Achievement in the Life Sciences. TIME magazine listed her as one of the top five global innovators in the world, this century, in the field of Criminal Justice in 2001 and as one of the Leaders for the 21st Century in 1999. She was listed as one of the 100 most Influential Women in BC by the Vancouver Sun in 2010, and one of the six most influential scientists in 2015. She is a past President/Chair of the CSFS, NAFEA, ESBC, ABFE and ESC. She was recently awarded the ESC Gold Medal and the ESA Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Recognition Award. She has published numerous papers and two books (both in 2nd editions).

This presentation will be aired via Zoom Video Conferencing at 7:30 pm. On the Monday preceding the event, Nature Vancouver members will receive the Zoom link in the weekly e-News. To join the talk, click on that link after 7:15 pm. The talk will begin at 7:30 pm. Non-members are welcome and should Email (  well in advance to register for the link.
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