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forensic palynology

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  • The study of fossil and modern pollen grains, spores, and powdered minerals, their identification, and when and where they occur, to ascertain that a body or an object was in a particular geographic location during an approximate time period.


    The main forensic application of palynology is to provide associative evidence, i.e. to establish or disprove links among people, places, and objects If one knows the composition of the pollen rain or a given area, then one will know what pollen assemblage should be found in samples collected from that area.

     Zoogamous pollen is particularly useful in a forensic analysis because actual contact between the plant and object or person of interest is necessary in order for the pollen to transfer. A relatively large amount of zoogamous pollen in a forensic sample is not likely to be an environmental contaminant, and can be diagnostic of a particular locale.

    December 8, 2015