Dr. Tim Huntington Examines Insects to Solve Crime

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 3 years ago on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 9:53 AM
Concordia University associate professor Dr. Tim Huntington in demand by law enforcement.

Associate Professor of Biology and Criminal Justice, Dr. Tim Huntington, recently spent time training the Lincoln Police Department and Lancaster County Sheriff’s office in the recognition and collection of insect evidence.

Additionally, Huntington spoke to the 2017 Fall Meeting and Education Expo of the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners in late September. His presentation focused on recognizing entomological information and learning about the types of insects that infest dead bodies. He also discussed how entomological evidence can help answer questions about the circumstances of death, and proper collection of entomological evidence.

“Known as “bugs of death,” the insects attracted by a decomposing body can help criminal investigators establish a crime’s timeline,” said Huntington. “This type of science has been used as a source of key evidence in many high-profile investigations.”

Dr. Huntington is one of only 17 board-certified forensic entomologists in the country. He has consulted on more than 100 death investigations in 19 states and four foreign countries.

Besides training law enforcement, Huntington recently graduated from the 195th basic law enforcement training course at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center as part of his semester-long sabbatical. He has served as a reserve deputy sheriff at the Seward County Sheriff’s Office since 2010 and was recently promoted to deputy sheriff.

He joined Concordia's natural science department as a full-time faculty member in 2008 and served as an adjunct faculty member in 2003 and 2005. His teaching emphasis is in organismal biology, and his research interests focus on forensic entomology, carrion ecology, and taphonomy. In 2013, he received a dual appointment with Concordia's social sciences department and heads the Criminal Justice program.

Following his graduation from Concordia in 2002, Huntington earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Concordia awarded him the Young Alumnus award in 2007.