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Forensic Palynology. Study of pollen, spores, and other microscopic plant parts. Pollen and Spores. Natures Fingerprints of Plants. Dinoflagellate Algae Fungal spores. Pollen Background. Pollen is the male cell of flowering/cone bearing plants

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forensic palynology

Forensic Palynology

Study of pollen, spores, and other microscopic plant parts

pollen and spores
Pollen and Spores

Natures Fingerprints of Plants

pollen background
Pollen Background
  • Pollen is the male cell of flowering/cone bearing plants
  • Microscopic
  • Found on nearly everything (unknowingly )—Locard’s Principle
  • Comes in a vast array of shapes, sizes, aperture openings, & surface textures
pollen background1
Pollen Background
  • Usually pollen types of different species within a single genus look similar

Different species of daisies

pollen diversity
Pollen Diversity

Willow Tree

Hay Fever Pollen


Pine Tree

Persian Silk Tree

pollen prints

Kansas Prairie

Pollen Prints
  • Each location produces a unique “pollen print” that is often so specific that it can be used to identify that precise location




uses in forensics
Uses in forensics…
  • Identify the pollen/minerals and determine where they came from and when they occur
  • Determine if a body was in a particular place at a certain time
  • Season in which crime was committed
pollen tells a story
Pollen Tells a Story
  • For instance, a dead body may be found in the woods, and the clothes may contain pollen that are found in a place other than where the body was found. That indicates that the body was moved.
how to analyze pollen
How to Analyze Pollen
  • Using a microscope
  • Look for characteristics such as shape, size, surface texture, & aperture
  • Compare specimens (from crime scene to suspect, from victim to suspect etc.)
provides a piece to the puzzle
Provides a piece to the Puzzle
  • Will probably not be the sole piece of evidence used to convict a person of a crime
  • Simply provides a “link”