Decomposition Facilities

These facilities comprise a dedicated room and external compound for the investigation of insect and larvae life cycle and behaviour, and determining decomposition timelines.

Decomposition is a fast-developing discipline within the Forensic Science field. Determining the time since a victim was accessible to insect colonisation is a very important part of narrowing down a timeline of a crime. The facilities also allow students to investigate the impact of drugs and chemicals on insect growth and behaviour, this can be imperative when encountering insect activity at a crime scene.

The decomposition facilities have been used by our students and researchers to investigate:

  • Insect attraction to burn victims
  • Decomposition rates buried in different mediums
  • Soil
  • Concrete
  • Sand
  • Insect behaviour after ingesting drugs
  • Drugs, including Cocaine, diamorphine and alcohol
  • Larval growth on different tissues
  • Internal organs including heart, lungs and kidneys
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Insect succession to remains


  • Insect husbandry environments
  • Sanyo MIR-154 Temperature Incubators
  • Interring containers


Photo of Decomposition Facilities


Opening Times

Access times are Monday to Friday 9am – 4.30pm 


in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021