Estimating Blow Fly Age and Reducing Error in Postmortem Interval Cases

Estimating Blow Fly Age and Reducing Error in Postmortem Interval Cases

This webinar originally occurred on October 24, 2018
Duration: 2 hours


Insect evidence can provide valuable information during death investigations. Forensic entomologists estimate the ages of the immature insects like blow flies, which can provide useful information regarding timelines in death investigations. In this webinar we will hear from three NIJ-funded researchers whose work offers new ways to estimate blow-fly age and new science to quantify the variance in age estimation that accounts for simple genetic variation within a fly species.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Improvement is needed in the accuracy of blow-fly age estimates
  2. Our research offers two ways to improve it by using a different blow-fly measure than physical size and observed development stage
  3. Our research offers a way to improve it by establishing statistical certainties around time-of-death estimates (estimated date +/− a number of days), based on universal variations in development time within the species

This is the first webinar of a two-part series on PMI.
Click here for the second webinar: Variability in Blow-Fly Development - Research and Implications for PMI Practice.


  • Dr. John Goodpaster | Director of the Forensic Science Program and Associate Professor at IUPUI
  • Aaron Tarone | Department of Entomology Associate Professor at Texas A&M University
  • Christine Picard | Forensic & Investigative Sciences Program Associate Professor at IUPUI

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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