Course Introduction

FSP 502: Forensic Entomology

  • Course Outline
  • Curriculum
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  • Case Studies
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February Batch 2024

Last Date to Register : 25th February 2024

The Forensic Entomology Online Course by SIFS India is carefully crafted to equip you with knowledge of using insects as evidence during forensic investigations.

You will learn about the science of insects, their life cycles, and how they help solve crimes and determine the time since death.

Once enrolled, you will have access to pre-recorded sessions delivered by professionals, empowering you with the skills to investigate crime scenes through the study of insects.

This course comprises three levels: Level 1 (certificate), Level 2 (diploma), and Level 3 (Post Graduate Diploma), and the entire curriculum is divided among these levels.

A few of the topics you will learn about are: significance and limitations of forensic entomology, physiology and life cycle of insects, types and life cycle of blow flies, types and life cycle of beetles, stages of human body decomposition, factors affecting decomposition, evidence collection and preservation techniques, entomology uses in different fields, insect development and decomposition, arthropod disease, and legal issues related to forensic entomology.

So enroll now to learn how to make a significant impact in criminal investigations, death investigations, and legal proceedings.

Course Benefits

Enrolling in this course will equip you with skills to identify, collect, and analyze insect evidence, estimate the time since death, and prepare you for a rewarding career in forensic science, law enforcement, and biology. You can work in forensic labs or collaborate with law enforcement agencies to help them determine crucial timelines in criminal investigations.

Course Outcome

Upon successfully completing this course, you will gain the expertise to examine insect evidence to determine the time since death, thereby contributing to the reconstruction of the crime scene. You will have mastered the principles of entomology, insect behavior, death scene analysis, and the application of forensic entomology in death investigations within a legal framework.

Course Highlights

- Pre-recorded sessions with practical know-how of forensic entomology tools and techniques

- Experienced mentors with in-depth knowledge in forensic entomology and insect behavior

- Industry-specific and comprehensive study material and reference books

- Community of forensic entomologists and experts

- Professional networking for better career prospects

  • Level I : Forensic Entomology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY

    This module covers an introduction to forensic entomology, its historical evolution, career prospects, and the scope of working as a forensic entomologist. The classification of forensic entomologists is discussed, highlighting the varied role they play during legal investigations. The use of taxonomic keys is highlighted as an insect identification tool; the significance of forensic entomology in estimating time since death and the limitations of this field are also taught.

    MODULE 2 – INTRODUCTION TO INSECTS

    In this module, you will gain insights about insects, their physiological and anatomical aspects, the intricate structure of their cuticle, their life cycle, the concept of metamorphosis, and the factors that affect insect growth. The module also covers a deep understanding of the role and significance of insects within forensic contexts and how studying their life stages and colonization patterns on cadavers acts as a crucial tool for estimating postmortem intervals.

    MODULE 3 – INSECTS OF FORENSIC IMPORTANCE I

    This module explores different types of fly families significant in forensic entomology. It covers blowflies (Calliphoridae), houseflies (Muscidae), fleshflies (Sarcophagidae), skipperflies (Piophilidae), and mothflies and sandflies (Psychodidae). For each type, you will be taught their diversity, life cycle, common species, colonization patterns around corpses, and how they assist in forensic investigations.

    MODULE 4 – ENTOMOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION

    This module explores the techniques used for collecting entomological evidence, preserving and storing such evidence, the significance of maintaining its integrity, and determining the elapsed time since death using two key methodologies: one by successional waves of insects and the other by assessing maggot age and development.

    MODULE 5 – ARTHROPOD BORNE DISEASE AND ITS INFESTATION

    This module covers the field of arthropod-borne diseases, beginning with an introduction to the various diseases transmitted by arthropods. The phenomenon of delusory parasitosis, highlighting the details of mite infestations and other related issues, is also covered. The role of public health policies and litigation of arthropod-borne diseases is discussed, focusing on their effects on both individuals and public health systems. Finally, you will learn about the significance of forensic entomology and its role in handling arthropod-related health challenges.

  • Level II : Forensic Entomology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY

    This module covers an introduction to forensic entomology, its historical evolution, career prospects, and the scope of working as a forensic entomologist. The classification of forensic entomologists is discussed, highlighting the varied role they play during legal investigations. The use of taxonomic keys is highlighted as an insect identification tool; the significance of forensic entomology in estimating time since death and the limitations of this field are also taught.

    MODULE 2 – INTRODUCTION TO INSECTS

    In this module, you will gain insights about insects, their physiological and anatomical aspects, the intricate structure of their cuticle, their life cycle, the concept of metamorphosis, and the factors that affect insect growth. The module also covers a deep understanding of the role and significance of insects within forensic contexts and how studying their life stages and colonization patterns on cadavers acts as a crucial tool for estimating postmortem intervals.

    MODULE 3 – INSECTS OF FORENSIC IMPORTANCE I

    This module explores different types of fly families significant in forensic entomology. It covers blowflies (Calliphoridae), houseflies (Muscidae), fleshflies (Sarcophagidae), skipperflies (Piophilidae), and mothflies and sandflies (Psychodidae). For each type, you will be taught their diversity, life cycle, common species, colonization patterns around corpses, and how they assist in forensic investigations.

    MODULE 4 – ROLE OF ENTOMOLOGY IN HUMAN DECOMPOSITION

    This module covers the study of decomposition stages in forensic entomology, its historical context, stages of decomposition (fresh, bloated, decay, post-decay, and dry), and factors affecting decomposition, including physical factors, chemical influences, climatic conditions, and the involvement of animals. The study of these elements leads to a deep understanding of the relationship between the environment and body decomposition within a forensic context.

    MODULE 5– ENTOMOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION

    This module explores the techniques used for collecting entomological evidence, preserving and storing such evidence, the significance of maintaining its integrity, and determining the elapsed time since death using two key methodologies: one by successional waves of insects and the other by assessing maggot age and development.

    MODULE 6 – WATER, DRUGS, TOXINS, AND INSECT DECOMPOSITION

    This module focuses on the impact of chemicals on arthropod biology, specifically in relation to insect development and decomposition, the effects of recreational chemicals, considerations in aquatic environments, the diverse range of poisons, and the implications of insecticides. This module will equip you with knowledge about the interactions between chemicals and arthropod life cycles in forensic and environmental contexts.

    MODULE 7 – ARTHROPOD BORNE DISEASE AND ITS INFESTATION

    This module covers the field of arthropod-borne diseases, beginning with an introduction to the various diseases transmitted by arthropods. The phenomenon of delusory parasitosis, highlighting the details of mite infestations and other related issues, is also covered. The role of public health policies and litigation of arthropod-borne diseases is discussed, focusing on their effects on both individuals and public health systems. Finally, you will learn about the significance of forensic entomology and its role in handling arthropod-related health challenges.

  • Level III : Forensic Entomology

    MODULE 1 - FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY

    This module covers an introduction to forensic entomology, its historical evolution, career prospects, and the scope of working as a forensic entomologist. The classification of forensic entomologists is discussed, highlighting the varied role they play during legal investigations. The use of taxonomic keys is highlighted as an insect identification tool; the significance of forensic entomology in estimating time since death and the limitations of this field are also taught.

    MODULE 2 - INTRODUCTION TO INSECTS

    In this module, you will gain insights about insects, their physiological and anatomical aspects, the intricate structure of their cuticle, their life cycle, the concept of metamorphosis, and the factors that affect insect growth. The module also covers a deep understanding of the role and significance of insects within forensic contexts and how studying their life stages and colonization patterns on cadavers acts as a crucial tool for estimating postmortem intervals.

    MODULE 3 - INSECTS OF FORENSIC IMPORTANCE I

    This module explores different types of fly families significant in forensic entomology. It covers blowflies (Calliphoridae), houseflies (Muscidae), fleshflies (Sarcophagidae), skipperflies (Piophilidae), and mothflies and sandflies (Psychodidae). For each type, you will be taught their diversity, life cycle, common species, colonization patterns around corpses, and how they assist in forensic investigations.

    MODULE 4 - INSECTS OF FORENSIC IMPORTANCE II

    In this module, you will be introduced to beetle families including carrion beetles (Silphidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), checkered beetles (Cleridae), and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae). For each type, you will learn about their diversity, life cycle, common species, and tendencies for colonizing around corpses. The module also covers the study of various arthropods, including venomous and blood-feeding scavengers, highlighting their role and significance in forensic investigations.

    MODULE 5 - ROLE OF ENTOMOLOGY IN HUMAN DECOMPOSITION

    This module covers the study of decomposition stages in forensic entomology, its historical context, stages of decomposition (fresh, bloated, decay, post-decay, and dry), and factors affecting decomposition, including physical factors, chemical influences, climatic conditions, and the involvement of animals. The study of these elements leads to a deep understanding of the relationship between the environment and body decomposition within a forensic context.

    MODULE 6 - ENTOMOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION

    This module explores the techniques used for collecting entomological evidence, preserving and storing such evidence, the significance of maintaining its integrity, and determining the elapsed time since death using two key methodologies: one by successional waves of insects and the other by assessing maggot age and development.

    MODULE  7 - ROLE OF ENTOMOLOGY IN DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES

    This module highlights the multifaceted role of entomology in the forensic and archaeological domains. You will learn about the relevance of forensic entomology related to medical issues and the complications arising from insect-related problems, including spider bites and various envenomizations. The module then focuses on forensic archaeological entomology, covering the presence of insect fragments and infestations in archaeological contexts, the consequences of insects in ancient lifestyles, and the distribution of human commensal insects.

    MODULE 8 - WATER, DRUGS, TOXINS, AND INSECT DECOMPOSITION

    This module focuses on the impact of chemicals on arthropod biology, specifically in relation to insect development and decomposition, the effects of recreational chemicals, considerations in aquatic environments, the diverse range of poisons, and the implications of insecticides. This module will equip you with knowledge about the interactions between chemicals and arthropod life cycles in forensic and environmental contexts.

    MODULE  9 - ANTHROPOD BORNE DISEASE AND ITS INFESTATION

    This module covers the field of arthropod-borne diseases, beginning with an introduction to the various diseases transmitted by arthropods. The phenomenon of delusory parasitosis, highlighting the details of mite infestations and other related issues, is also covered. The role of public health policies and litigation of arthropod-borne diseases is discussed, focusing on their effects on both individuals and public health systems. Finally, you will learn about the significance of forensic entomology and its role in handling arthropod-related health challenges.

    MODULE 10 - LEGAL ASPECTS OF FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY

    This module covers the diverse applications of entomology in legal contexts, including civil (private disputes), criminal (kidnappings, child abuse, punishment strings, and narcotics' origin), and administrative cases. The module concludes with the utilization of entomological evidence within the framework of administrative law, highlighting the valuable role it plays in forensic investigations.

  • What steps should I follow to enroll in this online course?

    To enroll, click on the “Register for Course” option available on the right side of the screen, followed by the provided instructions and payment procedure.

  • Can I pay directly to the bank account of SIFS India?

    Yes, you have the option to make a direct payment to the bank account of SIFS India;, all you have to do is write an email at education@sifs.in requesting the bank details. 

  • Which documents I have to upload at the time of enrollment?

    Academic Qualification Documents, Professional Qualification Certificates, and National ID Proof or Passport Copy are required at the time of enrollment.  

  • What if I am unable to upload my documents?

    Kindly send your necessary documents with proof of payment to admission@sifs.in.

  • How will I receive confirmation once I have completed the payment procedure?

    An Admission Confirmation email will be sent with your portal credentials once the proof of payment and application form with all the necessary documents are received at admission@sifs.in.

  • How do I login to the portal for my online course?

    To login, visit the portal at the given link: https://www.sifs.in/student and enter your login credentials, i.e., your username and password shared via email.

  • What study material access will I have after logging into the portal?

    After logging into the portal, you will have access to reading material, reference eBooks, and e-research papers.

  • Will I receive any assignments during my course duration?

    Yes, all your assignments, projects, case studies and practice tests will be assigned to you through your portal as per the level you will be enrolled in.

  • What technical prerequisites are necessary for an online course?

    You can easily access our online course on mobile / tablet devices. We highly recommend that you use your desktop or laptop and a reliable internet connection for a better view.

  • Will there be any exams after completing the course?

    Yes, there will be an online exam after completing the course.

  • Will I receive any certificates after completing the online course?

    Yes, upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate and marksheet, which can be a valuable addition to your resume and may enhance your career prospects in the field.

  • Where to contact in case of any queries or technical support?

    Write to us at admission@sifs.in, call: +91-1147074263, or WhatsApp: +91-7303913002.

Buck Ruxton Case Study

In 1935, the murderer Buck Ruxton case became the first one to be solved using forensic entomology in the UK.

In September 1935, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, a woman was gazing at a watercourse from the bridge when she discovered something horrible.

She saw a heap of decaying human remains in a small ravine below. Upon examination, the identities of the remains were revealed.

The two victims were identified as the wife, Isabella Kerr, and maid, Mary Rogerson, of Dr. Buck Ruxton.

Ruxton’s full name was Buktyar Rustomji Ratanji Hakim. He was a popular entity and worked as a GP in Lancaster at the time. He lived there with his common-law wife, Isabella, and their three children.

During the forensic investigation, several samples were collected from the human remains and sent to the University of Edinburgh for testing.

The specialist, Dr. Mearns, identified Calliphora vicina as a commonly known blowfly. After examining the maggots, it was found that they were around 12 to 14 days old. This helped in concluding the time of leaving the dead bodies near the stream.

The prime suspect in this case was Ruxton for several reasons:

- The dead bodies were skillfully dissected, pointing towards the suspect’s knowledge about human anatomy.

- He also suffered a cut on his hand at the same time as the murder took place, and sickening odors and bloodstains have been reported by a cleaning woman from his house.

- Furthermore, victims’ body parts were wrapped in newspapers, a few of which were Sunday Graphic’s special edition, sold only in Morecambe and Lancaster.

In further statements by neighbors, it was assumed that Ruxton murdered his extrovert and outgoing wife.

He was suspicious of her having an affair, and in a fit of revenge, after being troubled by his housemaid, he killed her too. He then dissected the bodies before dumping them to conceal their identities.

On November 5, 1935, he was charged with murder. In the following year, he was hanged to death, despite a petition for Ruxton’s mercy receiving over 10,000 signatures.

M. Suseela

5

To be honest , this was my first online course. Even though this is not a major subject for me but i like to know more about this forensic science field. And i am looking forward to taking more and more online course. 

Megha Agrawal

4

It was really nice to attend the course and learn from SIFS. 

Narreddy Vaishnavi

5

It was a good, worthy course from SIFS. thankyou. 

Shilpa Babu

5

The course was very interesting and evaluation was really good. 

 

Instructors

Dr. Ranjeet Singh

Dr. Ranjeet Singh

Managing Director

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