Pollen and Spore Evidence in Forensics Chapter uri icon


  • Forensic palynology, the use of pollen and spores to assist in solving criminal and civil cases, is a highly underutilized and neglected technique. During the past century, there have been only limited attempts to use pollen and spore evidence in either criminal or civil cases for a variety of reasons, including a lack of available information about the technique, a very limited number of specialists trained to do this type of forensic work, and an almost total absence of academic centers that are capable of training needed pollen specialists or forensic facilities able, or willing, to fund research in this area. I outline examples of how forensic pollen has been used as evidence and how it has proved helpful in finding and convicting criminals guilty of various types of crimes. I also explore new areas and analytical techniques being offered to enhance the precision of pollen data. The reliability and increased use of forensic palynology can change provided steps are taken to encourage better research and data and routine collection, analysis, and use of pollen evidence in both criminal and civil cases.

author list (cited authors)

  • Bryant, V. M.

Book Title

  • Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

publication date

  • January 1, 2014 11:11 AM