Date of Award

Winter 12-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)





First Advisor or Mentor

Angelique Corthals

Second Reader

Jennifer Rosati

Third Advisor

Melina Calmon Silva


An important aspect of forensic investigations involves the characterization and analysis of bone related trauma as this can provide valuable information regarding the manner and circumstances of death. Bone trauma can be classified into three main categories, which include Sharp Force Trauma (SFT), Blunt Force Trauma (BFT), and Gunshot Trauma. Previous experiments have explored SFT on flesh and bones, specifically made with knives or saws, coupled with various microscopic analytical methods. Minimal research has been done integrating both a forensic entomology and forensic anthropology approach, so it is imperative to understand previous literature detailing the behaviors of insects (blow flies), the process of and factors affecting decomposition, the various methods and experimental samples, and the examination of trauma. This study represents the first study of its kind to consider anthropological and entomological effects in examining the relationship between larval feeding and bone structure. Also, this study examines the nature of sharp force trauma an individual may encounter in forensic cases. It incorporates various levels of trauma - full break and partial break - in ribs of the thoracic cavity, a part of the body easily prone to damage from sharp force trauma.

Based on the results of this study, it appears that larval feeding has an effect on bone morphology in sites of SFT. More specifically, bones exposed to SFT and larval feeding lost integrity of the periosteum and trabecular bone structure, particularly the spacing of the trabecular bone.


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