Entomologia Forense

Novas tendencias e tecnologias nas ciencias criminais

PREFACE written by MARK BENECKE & MARTA WOLFF

This book is a very broad and fine collection of articles dealing with forensic entomology in Portugese text.

First we thought this to be an unfortunate twist. Yet, since our last forensic entomology training in Medellin at the Universidad de Antioquia with a team from Peru, Brazil, Germany and of course Colombia, we gained a different perspective. 

It is probably a good thing to have a regional collection of specialized articles that can actually be used locally. Growth curves and species lists from England, Germany, Canada, France, Austraulia, the gringo areas or Austria probably do not have any practical relevance in Southern America. Since the second edition of textbook of Byrd and Castner (eds.) on forensic entomology will be out by the time you read this, you do have an english language source for textbook purposes anyways. 

We very much hope that the articles by Gomes et al. will spark an intense focus on the local influences of climate, altitude, weather and - compared to the US. and Europe - very different seasons on the Southern American fauna of corpses. Also, variation of growth rates in local species and the culturally different patterns of wounds and drugs that change the initial insect colonization in crime ca ses will give generations of students (and senior researchers as well) cool and interesting topics to work on. 

At the same time, we beg you to read and publish more english text articles. It is not a good thing that most Southern American students quote mostly Spanish and Portugese references. As much as Southern America is the most species-rich region of the planet, it is important that local results are shared internationally. 

The best thing in forensic entomology is that it makes biology sexy. 

Most people hate insects (except of some butterflies maybe), never thought about the beauty in determining species and may also not realize that the circle of live and death is not just a Disney phantasy in "The Lion King" but the most basic principle of life. So enjoy this book, and most of all, if you feel that something in our field of work is unknown, go and do some experiments to find out. 

Never trust, always check! 

Mark Benecke 

Certified & 5worn In Forensic Entomologist 

Marta Wolff
Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia