Discover the extraordinary role of plants play in modern forensics with the Hudson Library & Historical Society in a live, virtual streaming event on Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. with botanist David Gibson, who will discuss his new book Planting Clues: How Plants Solve Crimes. Planting Clues details the important evidence that can be gathered from plants, algae, and fungi at a crime scene and exposes the role this evidence has played in high profile murder and botanical trafficking/poaching criminal trials.
We are all familiar with the role of blood splatters or fingerprints in solving crimes, from stories in the media of DNA testing or other biological evidence being used as the clinching evidence to incriminate a killer. Planting Clues explores how plants can help to solve crimes, as well as how plant crimes are themselves solved. Gibson discusses the botanical evidence that proved important in bringing several high-profile murderers such as Ian Huntley (the 2002 Shoham Murders), and Bruno Hauptman (the 1932 Baby Lindbergh kidnapping) to trial, from leaf fragments and wood anatomy to pollen and spores. Planting Clues traces the evolution of forensic botany and shares the fascinating stories that advanced its progress.
David Gibson is a professor of plant biology and University Distinguished Scholar at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. He is the senior editor of the Journal of Ecology and author of several books, including Grasslands and Climate Change, Methods in Comparative Plant Population Ecology, and Grasses and Grassland Ecology.
Registration for this program is required and a valid email address is required at the time of registration. Participants will receive an email invitation to attend the program, hosted on Zoom, a day before the program begins.