Physiological science is a type of biology that focuses on the study of the human body and how it functions. Forensic science is closely tied to this since forensics is a system of using science to help provide proof and answers for legal and criminal cases. Forensics is a very broad field that can be broken down into several sub-sectors, including the physiology, criminalistics, digital analysis, and social sciences.
Forensic Aerial Photography
Forensic aerial photography is a bit different from standard forensic photography that tends to focus in on accident and crime scenes. Forensic aerial photography involves recording images from above to show the full scale of an area or scene in question.
- Reconstructing Traffic Accidents – Learn how police use forensic aerial photography to investigate road accidents.
Anthropology is the study of the development and evolution of the human race. When combined with forensics, it can be used to identify the remains of a body, even if it is heavily decomposed or destroyed in some other ways.
- Forensic Anthropologists – Find out more about what forensic anthropologists do with examples of how they study a body or skeleton.
- Forensic Anthropology Resources – A forensic anthropologist supplies numerous links and resources for those interested in this field.
- American Board of Forensic Anthropology – This organization provides helpful information for those new to forensic anthropology along with a list of recognized educational programs.
Archaeologists typically try to find clues about the distant past through a series of specialized techniques and procedures. Forensic archaeologists use the same methods but for the purpose of uncovering the truth behind various crimes or accidents.
- What is Forensic Archaeology? (PDF) – An outline of the uses of forensic archeology, employment details and procedures.
- Finding Missing People – Read about how forensic archaeologists are employed to help find missing people or bodies.
- A Guide to Forensic Archaeology – This is an easy guide to learning more about forensic archeology with additional links supplied at the end.
Forensic astronomy uses astronomy principles and knowledge to help date issues where there is information available about the skies at a certain point in time. Although forensic astronomy is not used very often, it has been used in tandem with art history.
- Forensic Astronomy and Art – Donald Olson, one of the leading forensic astronomers, analyzes the skies in paintings and even literature to help provide an accurate date for them.
- Real Life Uses of Forensic Astronomy – Skim through some examples of how forensic astronomy was used to solve real life problems.
Forensic botany is a fairly new sub-sector in the field of forensics. It uses an intimate knowledge of plants to provide information in crime cases.
- An Intro to Forensic Botany – This primer serves as an excellent introduction of forensic botany to lay people.
- The Case of Bruno Richard Hauptmann – When a wood expert’s child was abducted, he used his expertise in trees and wood to help identify the kidnapper.
- Forensic Botany Presentation (PPT) – A presentation on forensic botany explains this field in greater detail along with some of the techniques that are used.
Forensic chemistry has a number of applications including reconstructing possible chemical occurrences and proving the presence of a chemical.
- Forensic Chemists – This is a broad look at a forensic chemist’s job details, the per-requisite education and training and more.
- Forensic Chemistry Resources – Browse through this large list of articles, information, and procedural topics all related to forensic chemistry.
Computational forensics uses computer generated images, models, simulated sequences and recognition tools to aid in investigative work. This field approaches investigations in a quantitative way, making it faster and easier for police to narrow down possibilities.
- Matching Fingerprints – One way that computational forensics is being put to use is by determining the likelihood of a fingerprint belonging to a suspect.
Dactyloscopy is the formal term for the scientific study of foot and finger prints for the purposes of identifying a person. Forensic dactyloscopy is very frequently used in investigations and is now also being used digitally as a means of providing entry through electronic machines.
- Dactyloscopy Techniques – Learn about latent, patent and plastic fingerprints, as well as how to read the patterns in a print.
- The Science of Fingerprints – This article on the science and art of analyzing fingerprints also includes several helpful related resources at the end.
- A Quick Guide to Dactyl
oscopy – Read a brief history of origins of fingerprinting and how it has evolved over the past century.
Digital forensics might sound similar to computational forensics but it is quite different. Digital forensics deals with investigating and recovering data from digital machines including computers that may have only been in use several decades ago.
- A Guide to Digital Forensics (PDF) – An easy to follow downloadable series details the basics of digital forensics and its uses in the legal field.
- Digital Forensics Resources – This vast list of digital forensic online resources covers notable professionals in the field, related conferences, academic papers, articles, tools, and plenty more.
- Digital Forensics Magazine – Read about the latest updates and news in the world of digital forensics.
Forensic DNA Analysis
Forensic DNA analysis studies DNA samples that are extracted from bodily fluids, skin or hair samples, or items that were touched by a person. This field only came about fairly recently thanks to the advances in science and technology.
- All About Forensic DNA Analysis – A look at how forensic DNA analysis is carried out and how it is used in different circumstances.
- A History of Forensic DNA Analysis – Forensic DNA analysis first started in 1985 and advanced rapidly in the next couple of decades.
- Identification Through DNA – Find out how suspects are identified through DNA and why this procedure has become standard practice in murder and rape cases.
Forensic engineers study and analyze the parts and structures of machines pertinent to a case to determine why a failure may have occurred. Most forensic engineering investigations occur in civil cases rather than criminal ones.
- A Course on Forensic Engineering – Get a more in-depth knowledge of forensic engineering by browsing through this full, free online course.
- Becoming a Forensic Engineer – Find out what it takes to become a forensic engineer and the training that is required beforehand.
- More on Forensic Engineers – Learn about some of the soft skills that forensic engineers need to have.
Entomology is a field of science that studies insects and similar creatures. In forensics, it is used in conjunctions with investigations revolving around deaths, as well as to determine the use of drugs, a location and other factors.
- A Definition of Forensic Entomology – Review what forensic entomology entails and how it is used in police investigations.
- An Explanation of Forensic Entomology – This brief article outlines the process of how corpses attract insects and how they are studied by investigators.
- Clues from Bugs – See how insects and larvae are collected and analyzed at crime scenes.
Geophysics, another fairly modern field, uses highly specialized technology to survey the ground to tell whether a body may be hidden beneath the surface, even well after the decomposition stages.
- How Does Forensic Geophysics Work? – Find out about the benefits of using forensic geophysics to locate missing bodies in an investigation.
- Using Forensic Geophysics – What are the best situations to bring in forensics geophysics experts and how do they help?
- Locating Bodies – Forensic geophysics helps investigators locate bodies using fewer resources and without the need to dig large areas unnecessarily.
Forensic geologists study the earth, soil samples and ground conditions to develop insight into how a crime might have played out.
- The John Dodson Murder – Read about the beginnings of forensic geology and one of its most famous cases.
- A Guide to Forensic Geology (PDF) – Learn all about forensic geology with this very detailed paper that discusses the entire field.
- Forensic Geology Case Studies – These notable case studies in forensic geology have since taught investigators several important lessons.
Forensic intelligence is a field that studies the latest developments in technology and science and aims to incorporate them into existing forensic research procedures.
- A Definition of Forensic Intelligence – This definition provides a succinct but useful understanding of the field of forensic intelligence.
- An Overview of Forensic Intelligence (PDF) – Forensic intelligence is another recent but vital field for police and other authorities.
Limnology is the scientific study of bodies of water that lie inland, such as ponds, lakes, streams and rivers.
- All About Forensic Limnology – Forensic limnology includes the study of the ecosystems that revolve around these areas and can help to provide answers in cases of drowning or dating a waterlogged body or item.
- Forensic Limnology Case Study (PDF) – Studying the development of freshwater algae leads to the suspect in this case.
Forensic linguistics uses the knowledge of many different languages in an investigative and legal context. It can be used to understand foreign law and to translate communications in crime cases.
- A Primer on Forensic Linguistics – Forensic linguists can also be employed to work on voice identification or to determine the dialect of a suspect.
- Forensic Linguistics and Text Messaging – Forensic linguists use their knowledge of regional dialects to identify a suspect through te
Forensic meteorologists interpret the weather at a specific point in time by analyzing past recorded data as well as personal accounts to get an accurate idea of the climate conditions at the time.
- What do Forensic Meteorologists Do? – Forensic meteorologists can be called upon to provide weather information for many different types of cases including criminal events and insurance claims.
- Weather Witnesses – Forensic meteorologists are used in numerous cases and their testimonies are often as important as hard evidence.
Mobile Device Forensics
Analysts who work in mobile device forensics study and recover data specifically from mobile devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, and smart phones.
- Mobile Device Forensics and the Law (PDF) – Learn about how mobile devices may be confiscated in some cases and legal issues that revolve around this field.
Forensic odontology comprises of handling, studying and analyzing teeth and other dental artifacts in a case, such as tooth marks.
- A Guide to Forensic Odontology – Forensic odontologists need a thorough background in dentistry and dental radiography.
- A Presentation on Forensic Odontology (PDF) – Learn about forensic odontology training requirements, methodology for dating and determining tooth records and how it is used in mass death situations.
In forensic optometry, analysts study vision aids, such as glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses that may have been used by people in a case.
- The Suspect’s Spectacles – In this true case, a forensic optometrist identifies a killer from the glasses he left behind at the crime scene.
Forensic pathologists aim to find the reason behind a person’s death by deriving clues from the corpse.
- Forensic Pathology Jobs – This question and answer series covers a number of common queries regarding forensic pathology as a career.
- A Day in the Life of a Forensic Pathologist – Follow a forensic pathologist through a typical day to learn about typical responsibilities and duties.
Forensic podiatry typically focuses on the anatomy and issues related to the foot and lower regions.
- Reading Feet – Find out how a forensic podiatrist read footprints or even shoeprints to determine physical traits about a suspect.
Courts sometimes summon a forensic psychologist to determine a person’s mental state and competence.
Expert knowledge of the earth’s movements is used by forensic seismologists for many different reasons, such as analyzing explosions and bombs.
- Uses of Forensic Seismology – Learn how forensic seismologists analyze recorded data to reveal information about bomb blasts and more.
Forensic serologists analyze and test blood, as well as bloodstains and other fluids emitted from the human body.
- The Job of a Forensic Serologist – Very often, specialized medical university professors double as a forensic serologist in criminal cases.
Interpreting the presence and effects of various toxic chemicals are some of the main tasks that forensic toxicologists perform.
- Forensic Toxicologist Duties (PDF) – Apart from simply interpreting chemical results, forensic toxicologists also have to prepare samples, isolate chemicals and run numerous chemical tests.
Forensic Video Analysis
With the growth of video cameras and surveillance systems over the last few decades, forensic video analysts contribute to cases by performing conversion services, enlarging or clarifying video feeds and evaluating the reliability of a piece of video.
- Creating a Clear Picture – Specially trained police members analyze video evidence and attempt to make it clearer for others to watch and use as evidence.