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Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER)

Funding: 2015: $430,000

Project Member(s): Forbes, S., Stuart, B., Roux, C., Fu, S., Wallman, J.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Infrastructure)

Start year: 2015

Summary: Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research. The aim of this project is to establish a unique Australian research facility dedicated to studying the physical, chemical, and biological processes of human decomposition. This facility will be the first of its kind in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, drawing together a collaborative team of experts in a broad range of taphonomy disciplines. The results of the research are expected to advance our limited understanding of the taphonomic processes acting on remains in a natural Australian environment. The outcomes will assist police and forensic services to improve their procedures for searching, locating, recovering, and identifying missing persons, victims of homicide, and victims of disaster on both a national and international scale

Publications:

Collins, S, Stuart, B & Ueland, M 2019, 'Monitoring human decomposition products collected in clothing: an infrared spectroscopy study', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES.
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Deo, A, Forbes, SL, Stuart, BH & Ueland, M 2019, 'Profiling the seasonal variability of decomposition odour from human remains in a temperate Australian environment', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES.
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Knobel, Z, Ueland, M, Nizio, KD, Patel, D & Forbes, SL 2019, 'A comparison of human and pig decomposition rates and odour profiles in an Australian environment', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 51, no. 5, pp. 557-572.
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Stuart, BH & Ueland, M 2017, 'Decomposition in Aquatic Environments' in Taphonomy of Human Remains Forensic Analysis of the Dead and the Depositional Environment, John Wiley & Sons.
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Stuart, BH & Ueland, M 2017, 'Degradation of Clothing in Depositional Environments' in Taphonomy of Human Remains Forensic Analysis of the Dead and the Depositional Environment, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 120-133.
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Morelato, M, Barash, M, Blanes, L, Chadwick, S, Dilag, J, Kuzhiumparambil, U, Nizio, KD, Spindler, X & Moret, S 2017, 'Forensic Science: Current State and Perspective by a Group of Early Career Researchers', Foundations of Science, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 799-825.
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Ueland, M, Howes, JM, Forbes, SL & Stuart, BH 2017, 'Degradation patterns of natural and synthetic textiles on a soil surface during summer and winter seasons studied using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy.', Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, vol. 185, pp. 69-76.
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Keywords: forensic taphonomy, decomposition processes, preservation, environmental impact

FOR Codes: Forensic Chemistry, Biological (Physical) Anthropology, Archaeological Science, Law Enforcement, National Security, Health Protection and/or Disaster Response