Center for Wildlife Forensic Research

Center for Wildlife Forensic Researche logo

The Center for Wildlife Forensic Research (CWFR) was created in 2015 in response to the growing need for scientifically and forensically robust research in the area surrounding wildlife crimes.

Since its opening, the CWFR has grown steadily and has recently gained recognition for the research being done by its members, past and current.

Mission Statement

The Center for Wildlife Forensic Research at the University of New Haven will conduct ethical and necessary research to improve wildlife forensic science through guided research projects by forensic scientists, academics, and students in collaboration with the agencies in need.

  • Source Certain International (SCI)
  • Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences
  • Yale Peabody Museum
  • Andrej Molan Woodworking
  • Gerace Research Institute, University of the Bahamas
  • Carmabi Marine Research Station
  • Murdoch University
  • Rottnest Island Authority
  • Mystic Aquarium
  • American Museum of Natural History Department of Ornithology
  • Copps Island Oysters
Awarded Grants
  • Quinnipiac River Fund
  • NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium
  • Essarras, A, Dadour, I.R., O’Brien, R.C, Magni, P.A. (2021) A preliminary investigation of insect succession patterns on decomposing carrion on Rottnest Island (WA), Journal of Clinical and Health Sciences, Vol. 6, Number , p. 4-16.
  • Pinto, J., Magni, P., O’Brien, R.C., Dadour, I. (2021) Domestic Filth Flies in New Haven, Connecticut: A Case Study on the Effects of Urbanization and Climate Change by Comparing Fly Populations after 78 Years, Insects Vol. 12 Issue 11.
  • Pinto, J., Magni, P., O’Brien, R.C., Dadour, I. (2021) Forensically Relevant Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Central Connecticut, USA, Forensic Science International Vol 327.
  • O’Brien, R.C., Appleton, A.J., Forbes, S.L. (2017) Comparison of Taphonomic Effects due to the Necrophagic Activity of Geographically Disparate Scavenging Guilds, Canadian Journal of Forensic Sciences Vol. 50, Number 1, p. 42-53.
  • King, K., Lord, W. D., Ketchum, H. R., O’Brien, R. C. (2016) Postmortem scavenging by the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana): Impact on taphonomic assemblages and progression, Forensic Science International Vol. 266, p. 576.
  • Appleton, A., O’Brien, R., and Trail, P. (2016) Species Identification of Golden and Bald Eagle Talons Using Morphometrics, Journal of Raptor Research Vol. 50, Number 1, p. 76-83.

In my studies, I worked to train rats to identify volatile organic compounds associated with decomposition.

After graduation, I plan to work in the field of Pathology or Death Investigation.