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Book Chapter

Forensic applications of micropalaeontology

By
Tony Brown
Tony Brown
University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

Micropalaeontology is a component part of forensic geology, but it also has strong links with botany and palaeoecology. Despite the now almost universal use of DNA in criminal investigations there are still many crimes for which micropalaeontological analyses can provide useful, if not crucial, forensic evidence. This chapter outlines the development and use of microfossils and environmental profiling, using pollen and spores in particular, but also other microfossils such as diatoms, ostracods and foraminifera. The critical attributes of microfossils are their small size, robustness and known source or distribution. The value of a multi-microfossil approach and the use of allied geological data, such as mineralogy, is also discussed. The use of microfossil data is illustrated using two forensic case studies, one in the UK and one undertaken for the United Nations after the Bosnian War, both of which were tested in court.

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Contents

The Micropalaeontological Society, Special Publications

The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History

M. Williams
M. Williams
University of Leicester, UK
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T. Hill
T. Hill
The Natural History Museum, UK
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I. Boomer
I. Boomer
University of Birmingham, UK
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I. P. Wilkinson
I. P. Wilkinson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781786203069
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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