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Forensic Biology

BGSU BCI

Biological Sciences at BGSU has initiated a specialization in forensic biology. This is a gateway specialization for undergraduates interested in pursuing careers requiring strong biological/problem-solving skills in this area of forensic science. While foundation-level courses are needed by all biologists (chemistry, physics, mathematics, as well as biology), advanced training in molecular biology (genetics, molecular techniques, biochemistry, environmental/medical forensics, statistics, and criminal justice procedures) will focus a student’s skill-set to give them the background and training needed to enter the field of forensic biology.

In addition to conceptual/theoretical lecture courses, students will get hands-on training in molecular biology techniques through our new course facilitated by Dr. Scott Rogers. This course is specifically designed to train undergraduates in molecular techniques that are used in forensic crime labs. Courses such as those listed below provide students with additional skills used in crime labs.

  • Biol 4060, Medical Entomology: Spring. Biology and identification of disease-carrying, toxic and parasitic arthropods.
  • Biol 3310, Human Anatomy and Physiology I: Fall, Spring, Summer. Anatomical and physiological aspects of cells and tissues and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.
  • Biol 3320, Human Anatomy and Physiology II: Fall, Spring, Summer. Anatomical and physiological aspects of circulation, respiration, digestion, excretion, endocrinology and reproduction.
  • Biol 4730, Mammalogy: Fall (alternate years). Identification, natural history, evolution, zoogeography, ecology, physiology, behavior, with emphasis on Ohio mammals.
  • Biol 4140, Plant Taxonomy and Evolution: Fall (alternate odd years). Principles of plant classification, evolutionary relationships and processes of plant evolution. Construction and use of keys, identificaiton of local flora, use of classical and molecular techniques in plant evolutionary studies.

BGSU students interested in a forensics major have the added benefit of having a crime lab on campus. A new modern facility was built at BGSU as  part of a unique partnership between the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the University. The 30,000 square-foot Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation facility enhances the laboratory and investigative services available to law enforcement partners in the area and at the same time, advances forensic science, helps prepare the state’s next generation of scientists and investigators, and establishes the University as being among a select group of universities nationally with an on-campus crime lab.

BGSU offers three areas of forensic specializations that will be able to take advantage of the close proximity of the new state crime lab,  Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry and Forensic Investigations. Having access to personnel from a state-of-the-art crime lab provides students opportunities for learning through internships and guest lectures. That interaction will help prepare them for careers in public safety and the growing field of forensic sciences