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Online (Zoom)
South Wales branch

An evening with Professor Shari Forbes

Event outline

This event will provide an overview of the need for these facilities elsewhere in the world, the research and training being conducted, as well as examples of their value to the scientific and law enforcement community.

Human decomposition facilities are essential for the study of forensic taphonomy and the many disciplines it encompasses. Research in the field of forensic taphonomy aims to understand what happens to a body between death and discovery. We know that the decomposition process is inherently impacted by the surrounding environment, including climate, geology, and ecology. However, until recently, the only facilities that conducted human decomposition research were based in the continental USA, and much of their data could not be extrapolated to other parts of the world due to different environmental variables. This presentation will contrast the recent opening of two human decomposition facilities in distinctly different environments, namely Canada and Australia.

Professor Shari Forbes holds a Canada 150 Research Chair in Forensic Thanatology at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). She is the Director of the UQTR facility for Research in Experimental and Social Thanatology (REST), the first human decomposition facility to open in Canada. She was formerly an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. She established and directed the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER), the first human decomposition facility in Australia and the only such facility in the southern hemisphere. Professor Forbes' research investigates the biochemical processes that occur in soft tissue decomposition. Her expertise is regularly requested to assist law enforcement with locating and recovering buried or concealed evidence, including human remains, drugs, weapons, and currency.

Cost and booking

This is a free event and advance booking is essential via the link at the top of the page. The Zoom meeting joining link will be circulated to registered guests ahead of the event.


For specific event enquiries, please contact the branch at
For booking and website enquiries, please contact Beth Morgan at or on 020 3925 3444.