|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||BIO/03|
|MODULES||Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:|
AIMS AND CONTENT
This module concerns the botanical and mycological approach to forensic science and includes various fields of plant and fungi science that can be useful in criminal cases and legal disputes. This teaching will provide the basic knowledge about the application of Botany and Mycology to forensic investigations and legal disputes. Possible sources of botanical and mycological evidence will be illustrated, such as palinology, dendrology, plant anatomy, limnology, pharmacognosy, molecular biology, etc. Examples of historical case reports and data analysis will be shown as well as identification of plants and fungi subjected to legal restrictions according to European and international regulations will be presented. Toxic plants and fungi dangerous for humans and animals and botanicals used as recreational psychoactive drugs and hallucinogenic mushrooms will be also described.
AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
This module will provide the students with the general knowledge about forensic botany and mycology and their application in crime investigation and in the answering to other legal issues. The most important poisoned planst and toxic fungi will be illustrated in addition to the plants used for drug production and hallucinogenic fungi. Case studies, where botanic and mycological evidence have been used will be presented. Collection and Identification methods of specimens of forensic interest will also be presented.
At the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate:
a) A general knowledge of the principles of forensic botany and mycology
b) A general knowledge about the role of plants and fungi as sources of toxic and psychoactive substances;
c) A general understanding about the role of plants and fungi in alimentary frauds and in food contamination;
d) A general understanding of the role of fungi in the cadaver decomposition processes;
e) A general understanding of the use of plants and fungi (eg.: plant fragments in the gut content, roots, pollens, spores, hyphae, etc.) in PMI and body transfer estimation.
At the end of the lectures, students will be able to:
a) Select the best sampling methods for botanic and mycological evidence depending on the different forensic scenarios;
b) Identify the most important poisoning plants, the illegal drugs produced from plants, the most important toxic and hallucinogenic fungi;
c) Identify the most important botanic and mycological evidence useful in a forensic context;
d) Identify the most important mycological taxa involved in the decomposition process.
The module teaching is based on lectures and work group. Attendance to lectures and practical group activities is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
Lectures are delivered with multimedia supports.
During the first term, lectures will be potentially delivered in presence, however online attendance will be guaranteed with synchronous video. Practical will be delivered in presence.
All the in-presence activities will be delivered according to the university and national rules related with the COVID-19 emergency. Because of the current COVID-19 emergency, students are invited to check regularly the module website (AulaWeb ) to be updated on any teaching variation.
The module is built up of two components: Forensic Botany and Forensic Mycology
- A brief historical introduction to Forensic Botany and its application in the legal disputes. Case studies and examples: kidnapping, murder, war crime and frauds.
- Botanical traces useful in the forensic context (pollens, seeds, fragments, etc.)
- Methods, techniques and case studies
- Toxic plants for humans and animals
- Classic drug and new psychoactive substances of botanic origin.
- Forensic mycology: definition and fields of applicability. Case studies.
- Fungi and thanotochronology: case studies.
- Fungi involved in decomposition, biodeterioration and biodegradation.
- The main toxic and hallucinogenic fungi.
- Methods of sampling fungi at a crime scene in an outdoor or indoor environment.
The teaching material will be available on Aulaweb as .pdf files
Suggested books are available in the library or for consultation in the lecturer office:
-Forensic Botany - Practical Guide. D.W. Hall & J.H. Byrd eds. WILEY-Blackwell, 2012
-Forensic Botany. Principles and Applications to Criminal Casework. Edited by Heather Miller Coyle. CRC Press 2005.
TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD
Ricevimento: Agreed directly with the teacher by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ricevimento: Students are received after booking an appointment by telephone (010 353 8240) or e-mail (email@example.com).
LAURA CORNARA (President)
STEFANO VANIN (President)
MIRCA ZOTTI (President Substitute)
The lessons of the first semester will begin on 20 September 2021 and will end by 14 January 2022, the lessons of the second semester will begin on 21 February 2022 and will end by 03 June 2022.
See detailed timetable at the following link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/
Students will have to submit a final paper which will be discussed in an oral test.
Details of how to prepare for the examination and the degree of depth required for each topic will be provided at the beginning of the module and reiterated during the lectures. The two tests will consist of the preparation of a paper which will be discussed orally.
The examinations will test the ability to present the topics clearly, with correct terminology and in a critical manner.