This free UCLan event will explore what happens after death

Posted on - 21st January, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, UCLan, What's On in Preston

A world-leading forensic science expert is coming to UCLan to give rare insight at free public event.


The event is offering people the chance to discover the real-life science behind what happens to bodies after death.

Professor Shari Forbes from Three Rivers University in Quebec, Canada, will discuss human decomposition and explain the physical, chemical, and biological reactions that take place in the human body after death.

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She will talk about the role of ‘body farms’ in taphonomic research and how human and animal corpses are utilised in decomposition facilities to help assist the police and the criminal justice system.

Professor Forbes was previously the Director of the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER), which hosts human bodies and she has now moved to Canada to establish a similar research facility.

She has been invited to UCLan by Dr Patrick Randolph-Quinney, Reader in Biological and Forensic Anthropology, who leads taphonomic research at UCLan, including the University’s own ‘body farm’ TRACES.

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TRACES is the largest outdoor decomposition facility in Europe and focuses on animal taphonomy as a model for humans because UK laws do not allow human remains to be used for this type of research.

Dr Randolph-Quinney said: “We’re really excited to welcome Professor Forbes to Preston. Forensic taphonomy, and body farms in particular, are popular subjects in many tv and fiction novels – in fact the term ‘body farm’ was first coined by author Patricia Cornwell in her Kay Scarpetta novels.

“This public lecture will provide a rare chance for people to learn the hard science behind the fiction from an internationally-respected expert in taphonomy.”

The event will take place on Thursday 24 January from 1pm – 2pm in UCLan’s Foster Lecture Theatre Four.

No booking is required and you can turn up on the day.

Did you study at UCLan? What do you think about the event? Let us know in the comments below

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