“Forensic entomology in the ‘omics era'” – Dr. Christine Picard @ Cafe Inquiry
PUBLIC LECTURE, November 18th, 7pm CENTER FOR INQUIRY, DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS
CINSO and the Center for Inquiry of Indiana co-host the monthly lecture series “Cafe Inquiry.”
Forensic entomology is an old field, when it was observed how quickly flies were attracted to decomposed remains, and how they could be used as a clock in determining the minimum time since death (postmortem interval). Since these early days, a lot of research has gone into how different environmental variables affect these time measurements in order to improve precision and accuracy surrounding a postmortem interval estimation. The Picard Lab focuses on understanding the basic biology of a few of the more representative species that are early colonizers during the decomposition process, and finding correlations between genotype and phenotypes to improve our precision around postmortem estimates. Without any reference genomes in this family of insects, the Picard Lab scientists are starting from scratch, generating genomes, and testing specific hypotheses related to different phenotypic conditions, such as sex and development rate.
Dr. Picard received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of New Brunswick, her Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, her Ph.D. in biology from West Virginia University, and was s postdoctoral research associate in Entomology at Texas A&M University. She joined the Department of Biology at IUPUI as an Assistant Professor in 2011, studying genotype-phenotype correlations in blowflies.