Applied Research

Geoforensics and Information Management for crime Investigation (GIMI)

Samples Sharing Initiative

pig decomposition pic1 The purpose of the sample sharing initiative is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of soil samples collected from decomposition trials. The sample sharing initiative was proposed at the first GIMI network meeting as a way to increase the amount of forensic data that can be generated from these trials.

The initiative was implemented at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada during the summer of 2007. The trials utilize pig carcasses as models for human decomposition and the carcasses are placed in two decomposition environments; on the soil surface and within shallow graves.

Members of the network will use their combined expertise to investigate chemical, physical and biological changes in the soils which result from the decomposition process. The results of the analyses will endeavour to provide a better understanding of the interaction between soil characteristics and soft tissue decomposition. Through a comprehensive analysis, the group aims to investigate a range of methods that have the potential to be applied to forensic investigations involving human remains.

pig decomposition pic2 The sample sharing project will be replicated in future years in order to test the reproducibility and robustness of the methods derived.