Study Programmes

Forensic Palynology2

Palinologia Forense

Course code:8059225

Ana Maria Aço Monteiro Pintão

Learning outcomes of the curricular unit:

The student should know the methodology and principles of the application of Forensic Palynology and Botany in forensic practice, through the study of plant structures, pollen grains and spores. The following learning objectives (LO) must therefore be attained:

  • To know the methods of locating and recovering / extracting the biological materials commonly found
  • Identify histological, anatomical structures, pollen grains and spores from various species
  • Collect samples in situ and in the laboratory, process samples and prepare reference collections
  • Compare samples and perform palynological analyses and taxonomic identification
  • Evaluate palynological evidence as evidence in court
  • Elaborate an expert report with palynological, histological, anatomical and taxonomic identification
  • Recognize the relevance of contamination prevention procedures by relating them to the location, extraction and analysis of the material
  1. Knowledge of cytological characteristics with importance for forensic identification: Cellular wall differentiation and characteristic cell accumulations.
  2. Histological identification of stomata and characteristic secretion hair and glands of different families. Plant fibres.
  3. Anatomical differences of roots, stems and leaves for different Taxa. Dendrochronology. Cases of application.
  4. Environmental and ecological adaptations. Endemic and rare species.
  5. Floral anatomy. Plant breeding. Pollination. Distinguishing morphological features of pollen and spores.
  6. Use of forensic palynology and applications. Palynomorphs
  7. Sampling and preparation of palynomorph samples. Identification of pollen grains and analysis of samples.
  8. Assessment of palynological evidences. Taphonomic factors. Dendrograms and of similarity indices
  9. Practical cases and elaboration of expert reports
Suggested Bibliography:
  • Moore PD, Webb JA & Collinson ME (1991) Pollen analysis, 2nd ed., Blackwell, Scientific Publications, Oxford. ISBN: 0-632-02176-4
  • Milne LA, Vaughn MB & Dallas CM (2004) Forensic Palynology, 1st ed., CRC Press, London, NY. ISBN: 978-0-8493-1529-9
  • Mildenhall D, Wiltshire P, Bryant V (2006) Forensic Palynology. Forensic Science International, 163(3), pp. 161-248