Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

PhD Defence ceremony Monique Wesselink

26Apr2018 12:00


On Thursday 26 April, Monique Wesselink will defend her PhD thesis

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Thesis cover Monique Wesselink

DNA markers for forensic identification of non-human biological traces

In this thesis, DNA markers are described that enable forensically relevant classification of three groups of non-human biological traces: fungi (Chapter 1), domestic cats (Chapters 2, 3 an d 4) and birch trees (Chapters 5 and 6). Because the forensic questions associated with these traces require different levels of classification, the different chapters illustrate the variation in levels of classification of DNA markers that may be used for these purposes. After selection of potential DNA markers for the various applications, makers were tested for their feasibility in forensic case samples, followed by analyzing test samples, creating databases, and sharing this data with the forensic community for review and comparison to enable the application of the identified markers in case work. As the inheritance of the different DNA markers and the reproductive strategies of the studied species differ considerably, the value of being included as member of a certain class is also variable. Determining the forensic value of inclusion into a class is therefore included in all.
Several observations concerning the identification of species, the value of mitochondrial DNA profiles, and the development and validation of nuclear DNA typing methods are not only true for the species described in this thesis, but are of importance to the general application of non-human biological traces in forensic investigations. These include the value of curated databases and relevant reference collections, but also laws that have a biological scientific basis and that are revised periodically.

Published by  IBED