A state-level seminar on Forensic Biology was organized by the Department of Forensic Science at the School of Sciences, Jain University. The seminar was conducted to bring together the sub-disciplines of Forensic Biology and highlight the contribution of other areas of Life Sciences to Forensic Science.
As is known, Forensic Science deals with the application of scientific techniques to matters related to civil and criminal law and is a vital part of a country’s criminal justice system. Forensic Biology, on the other hand, is a branch of Forensic Science that deals with the study of biological evidence related to any crime including blood and other body fluids, plant materials, fibers and so on. Although inter-related, there is a gap in the understanding of topics dealt by each sub-discipline and the combination of these topics.
The seminar was graced by distinguished speakers – Dr. Uday Vir Singh, Wildlife Forensics, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and CEO, Karnataka State Plant Medicinal Plant Authority, Vana Vikas, Bengaluru; Dr. Vinod Lakkappan, Forensic Serology and DNA, Assistant Director, Karnataka State Forensic Science Laboratory, Madiwala, Bengaluru; Dr. R. Sundararaj, Forensic Entomology, Scientist G, Forest and Wood Protection Division, Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bengaluru; and Dr. Tresa Hamalton, Identification of Wood, Scientist C, Forest and Wood Protection Division, Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bengaluru.
The programme, which had participants from Mysuru, Mangaluru and several colleges and universities in Bengaluru as well as various streams of Jain University, covered the following topics: Wildlife Forensics, Forensic Serology & DNA, Forensic Wood Science and Forensic Entomology.
The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. Uday Vir Singh, who was also the first speaker for the first session, which was on the importance of Forensic Science in investigating wildlife crimes. He gave the audience an overview of the wildlife in Karnataka and shared case studies and challenges faced by wildlife investigators due to their lack of knowledge in Forensic Science.
The speaker for the second session was Dr. Vinod Lakkappan. He spoke about the importance of biological evidences and DNA fingerprinting. The third and fourth sessions were related to Forensic Botany. The speaker for the third session was Dr. R. Sundararaj. He spoke about the significance of insects in forensic investigation. Dr. Tresa Hamalton, the speaker for the fourth session spoke on the different types of trees and their identification that is useful for forensic investigation.