Did you know that maggots in a corpse can tell you a person’s time of death? Or that genetic fingerprinting of smuggled animals can help fight illegal trade in wildlife? Or that thanks to Australian research the DNA of 200-year-old koala specimens is revealing the effects of human activity?
Join New Scientist and UNSW Science for a two-hour evening lecture and hear from Bryan Lessard (Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO) and Rebecca Johnson (Director, Australian Museum Research Institute) about the insects and animals that are helping to solve crimes as well as the cutting-edge techniques used by wildlife detectives.
Bryan Lessard, also known as ‘Bry the Fly Guy’, will discuss the latest in forensic entomology – the use of insects in legal investigations. Whilst passionate about flies and maggots, ‘Bry the Fly Guy’ is most famous for naming a newly discovered horsefly with a golden abdomen after Beyoncé.
Rebecca Johnson will discuss her work as a wildlife forensic scientist. Originally a geneticist, she helps police and border protection agents piece together DNA clues and track down perpetrators of cruelty against wildlife. She will also talk about her research sequencing the koala genome for the first time and what it might tell us.