Australia and New Zealand



Publication Details

Wallman, J. F. & Archer, M. S. (2015). Australia and New Zealand. In J. K. Tomberlin & M. Benbow (Eds.), Forensic Entomology: International Dimensions and Frontiers (pp. 53-72). Boca Raton, United States: CRC Press.

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Forensic Entomology


The first known Australian or New Zealand case featuring forensic entomology occurred in 1923 (Morgan 2012). Insect evidence recovered from a corpse found in a river suggested that infestation had occurred at a forested site before the body was immersed. However, the analysis appears to have been made by the pathologist and police rather than an entomologist. There are two other early New South Wales records of minimum postmortem interval (mPMI) estimates from 1960 (Clarke 1962) and 1978 (Miller 1991). Regular use of forensic entomology increased from the 1980s onward, and reference to Australian and New Zealand casework can be found in O'Flynn (1980), Smeeton et al. (1984), Crosby et al. (1985), Morris (1993), Levot (2003), Archer and Ranson (2005), Archer et al. (2005, 2006), and Porter (2012). Acceptance of forensic entomology in Australia was also further increased by its inclusion in the Expert Evidence series, which summarizes fields of accepted expertise for the legal community (Morris and Dadour 2011). Today, there are usually between 10 and 15 practitioners, researchers, and students working in Australia and New Zealand at any one time.

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