Forensic Botanist

By: Sean Labbe

What it is

Forensic botany is the scientific study of plants, or the application of plant sciences to criminal investigations.

How it's used

This field of forensics is used to solve crimes by using the markings found on plant matter and wood to determine what has created the indent. Another example of how it is used is if plant matter such as pollen/seeds was left on an article of clothing it could be linked to a scene of a crime.

Actual Crime

Forensic botany has been accepted by the legal system for nearly 75 years, when it was used as evidence in the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby in 1935. In fact, forensic evidence presented at the trial (wood from the kidnapper’s ladder) was largely responsible for the conviction of Bruno Richard Hauptmann.

Education Necessary

To become a forensic botanist, it is necessary to have an undergraduate degree at a minimum, and a master's degree can be extremely helpful. This can require four to seven years in school, and in some cases even more education for forensic botanists who pursue doctorate degrees in the field.
Forensic Science Field Techniques - Forensic Botany