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Francesca Spencer coauthored a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports

Francesca Spencer, graduating senior in Biochemistry and Italian at the University of Iowa, is coauthor of a paper appearing in Nature Scientific Reports. She collaborated with a group of scientists and students from the University of Keele, U.K., led by Dr. Jamie Pringle, and helped analyzing data from a  very long study (longest globally, starting in Dec. 2007 and still ongoing) of geophysical monitoring of simulated clandestine burials on the Keele campus using pig cadavers as human proxies. This study will be crucial as it will tell forensic search practitioners a) which geophysical technique is optimal to use to find a body in different timeframes after death/burial, b) optimal equipment configuration(s) for body detection and c) provide comparable datasets for them to see what anomalies should be looking like, and thus where to dig. Dr. Pringle has applied this methodology to unsolved cold cases in Wales and participated in international collaborations to locate mass graves from the Spanish Civil War. Ms Spencer plans to continue her studies next year focusing on Forensics as a graduate student at the University of Utah.

The article is entitled, “Geophysical monitoring of simulated homicide burials for forensic investigations.”

Congratulations Francesca!

Thursday, May 7, 2020