Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone!  Thanks for coming to read my blog.  I'll use this first post to tell you a bit about myself & what I'm doing here.  

I'm a Crime Scene Coordinator with the police in the UK, and this year I have been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship in order to visit Human Taphonomy Facilites (commonly known as Body Farms) in Knoxville Tennessee and Sydney.  The visits aren't for fun, though I'm sure I'll have a good time when I get there; I'm going to research how HTFs are run, and what the challenges are in running them.

So - Why am I doing this?

HTFs are used in order to study how human remains decompose in different circumstances.  This can be very important in police and forensic settings, as knowing how long a body has been there, or if it has been moved post mortem, can be vital when we are investigating murders.  We can be looking for changes in the appearance of the body, as well as chemical differences, or what insects have collinated the body.  

There are several HTFs in the US, including the original Body Farm in Knoxville, and one was opened in 2016 in Sydney, Australia, but there are none in Europe never mind the UK!  This can be a problem because all the studies that have been done to date have been done in the US, and as you can imagine the environment there is completely different to the UK, meaning that the findings don't necessarily apply here.

Why do we need a HTF in the UK?

We need to be able to do our own research here in the UK.  To date, any studies done have been using pig carcasses as they are closest to human remains, but at the end of the day although they are close they aren't the same.  There is a blog with more information on them - http://htf4uk.blogspot.co.uk/ - check it out for more information, and please complete their survey while you're there!

Also, don't forget to check out the website for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for more information on their travelling fellowships - http://www.wcmt.org.uk/ 

That's it for my first post - if you have any questions or comments let me know, and I'll be adding another post soon.



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