Environmental, animal and plant forensic genetics

Presentation of the unit Unit services


In addition to SHIFT's specialized fields of forensic entomology and forensic anthropology, WEDF staff members are developing expertise in many other areas, including through research partnerships.

•   Example of studies on animal material:

Parrots (2016)

In 2011, the laboratory received a series of exceptional samples in the framework of a case of trafficking of exotic birds: 123 feathers were entrusted to us from a breeding farm presumed to be responsible for trafficking already for a long time. The suspicions were well-founded and the price that the illegal sale of certain parrots could bring in motivated the Federal Veterinary Service to initiate a genetic analysis in order to prosecute this suspected breeder. These analyses revealed that in 3 out of 6 situations examined, the birds were not related, which reinforced the hypothesis of trafficking and allowed the conviction of the fraudster. Subsequently, the laboratory has developed a series of markers allowing the expertise in cases of suspected trafficking of parrots.



•    Example of studies on plant material:

Cannabis (2017)

The purpose of this study was to assess genetic variation between agricultural hemp varieties and drugs using an assortment of hypervariable STR markers: 13 markers were chosen to genotype 1324 specifically selected samples representing 24 hemp and 15 marijuana varieties.



•    Example of studies on human material:


Gastric contents Source d'image