Spring 2023 - CRIM 358 D100

Forensic Entomology (3)

Class Number: 2006

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SWH 10081, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2023
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101. Recommended: CRIM 320 or equivalent.



Forensic entomology is the study of the insects associated with a dead body. This course will introduce students to entomology and its applications to law. Instruction will include lectures, tutorials and also laboratories where students will handle, dissect and identify a variety of insects. Students with credit for CRIM 318 (Introduction to Forensic Entomology or Forensic Entomology) prior to Fall 2017 may not take this course for further credit.


Forensic entomology is the study of the insects associated with a dead body in order to estimate the minimum elapsed time since death as well as other factors such as whether the body has been moved, disturbed, wounded or poisoned. It can also be used in SPCA and wildlife cases and in cases of human neglect or abuse. This course will introduce students to entomology and its applications to law. It will consider the two methods of estimating elapsed time since death: maggot development and insect succession and look at the issues associated with each. It will look at other uses for entomology at crime scenes as well as miscarriages of justice that have been righted using insect evidence. CAUTION. This course will be liberally illustrated with true case histories and graphic images.


Students will:

  1. Develop a general understanding and appreciation for insects and their role in the world.
  2. Gain hands on, practical experience in insect handling and identification
  3. Understand the value of entomology in a death investigation and know how to collect insects at a crime scene
  4. Comprehend the basic scientific and entomological principles behind the use of insects in death investigations
  5. Comprehend the analytical methods used in forensic entomology to age insects and hence estimate elapsed time since death
  6. Recognize the factors that impact estimating time since death
  7. Appreciate when and where forensic entomology is important as well as recognize its limitations


  • Exercises (5 x 4%) 20%
  • Quizzes (10 x 3%) 30%
  • Participation 15%
  • Midterm exam 15%
  • Final exam 20%



The Science of Forensic Entomology. 2022. Rivers, D.B. and Dahlem, G.A. Second Edition. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1- -119-64061-5. Electronic or paper edition. Note this is the 2nd edition

ISBN: 978-1- -119-64061-5


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

If you have any Criminology course enrollment requests (course adds, course swaps), please contact a Criminology advisor. Please do not contact instructors for enrollment assistance as they will ultimately refer you to a Criminology advisor.

Criminology course enrollment requests should be sent to a Criminology advisor no later than the last day of the Second week of classes. Late enrollment requests are subject to approval and are not guaranteed. 

Enrollment requests for non-Crim courses should be directed to the advisor for the program offering the course. 

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Center for Accessible Learning, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (SWH 10156), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only, with the contents date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will be accepted (e.g. Library/Campus Security).  For the Surrey Campus, assignments must be hand delivered to the General Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, located at SUR 5180, on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30p.m., or placed in the assignment drop box located at the southwest corner of Galleria 5.  The Surrey assignment drop box is emptied Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with the contents date stamped accordingly.  The School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted in any other manner (e.g., slid under office doors).  The University does NOT accept assignments by fax or email.
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise they will receive a grade of N. 
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.


Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html