Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2016

New Forensic Science Lecturer To Launch Experiments At University’s ‘Body Farm’

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 4th, 2016

Wrexham Glyndwr University’s new forensic lecturer plans to launch new ‘body farm’ experiments. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Amy Rattenbury joined the institution last week to take up her post as forensic science lecturer and has vowed to launch new experiments at the university’s ‘body farm’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The facility, based in woods near the Wrexham campus, explores the ways in which animal remains decompose. Amy and her third year students on the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science course will monitor corpses and measure how they decay in different settings and temperatures. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The group will be using pig carcasses and smaller animals but their findings will be comparable with those of human remains. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Amy, an active member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologist, said: “I specialise in decomposition and the search, recovery and identification of human remains. The facilities here at the university are great, I can research and explore experiments that really interest me. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The body farm is the first of its kind in Wales and there’s very few in the whole of the UK. In America forensic scientists use human remains but it is still illegal in the UK, so we are still quite behind on the research.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The bodies are placed in a variety of areas; some will be buried in shallow graves, inside bags or hung up, and then left to rot while being monitored for decay. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Amy, who studied Forensic Biology at Staffordshire University and an MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation at Bradford University, said: “We will look at how the surroundings affect decomposition, as usually a body is buried in a coffin, so we look at how this changes the way a human decomposes. The remains put in trees will be used to look at decomposition for scenarios such as air disasters and hangings.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Prior to joining Glyndwr University in 2016 she was a Programme Leader on a BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Forensic Investigation at the University Centre Southend. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Amy’s previous research has looked in to ‘How time and pressure can cause distortion in overlapping fingerprints’, ‘Modified weapons trafficking’ and ‘An investigation in to identification from light air crashes on the Russian-Finnish boarder’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Her current focus is in the area of forensic taphonomy and more specifically the impact of decomposition on identification techniques, but she also has broader interests in cold case review, buried and concealed evidence and forensic pathology. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Glyndwr Wrexham University

Former Electrician Completes First Piece Of Commission Artwork

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham AFC Player’s Rhubarb Juice Research Among Highlights Of University Conference

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Book Launched With University Students To Mark Opening Of £250m Wrexham Super-Prison

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham Glyndwr University To Host Three Events For Wrexham Carnival Of Words 2017

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Space Project Takes Off After Sector Conference

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Wrexham Named Happiest Place To Live In Wales, Second Happiest In The UK, In New Survey

Glyndwr Wrexham University

Latest from News.Wales

Audit Wales Report Highlights Lack of Understanding of Powys Residents’ Needs by Senior Council Chiefs

Powys Council

Former Village School in Carmarthenshire Transformed into Community Hub and Cafe

Carmarthenshire Council

Legal Agreement for Financial Contributions Towards Pembrokeshire’s Bluestone Resort Expected to End

Pembrokeshire Council

Merthyr Tydfil Council to Potentially Transition 40 More Vehicles to Electric with £400,000 Funding

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Deadline for Police Commissioner Election Registration Approaching in Wales

Monmouthshire Council

Failings in Contract Management by Powys County Council Result in Losses for Local Businesses

Powys Council