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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Forensic Science Seminar to present forensic entomologist April 22

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 18, 2005 -- A forensic entomologist will discuss insects as toxicological specimens and the recovery of human DNA from blood-feeding arthropods at the University of Rhode Island Forensic Science Seminar April 22.

Jason Byrd, chairman of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, will speak from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 124 of Pastore Hall on the Kingston Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. His presentation will focus on the applications and uses of arthropod and entomological evidence in legal investigations.

The lead faculty member for the Virginia Commonwealth University bachelorís degree program in forensic science, he is an assistant professor of forensic science and biology. Byrd is a faculty instructor for the Federal Bureau of Investigationís National Academy and serves as faculty for the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine.

He has combined his formal academic training in entomology, forensic science, criminal justice and law to serve as a consultant in criminal and civil investigations throughout the United States.

He specializes in the education of law enforcement officials, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys and other death investigators on the use of arthropods in legal investigations. Arthropods have horny, segmented, external coverings and jointed limbs and include insects, crustaceans, and arachnids.

Byrd has published numerous scientific articles on the subject of forensic entomology, and has also published the Forensic Science Insect Identification Cards and Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations.