Jeffrey Wells, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Biological Sciences.
Dr. Wells ' research concerns the development of new genotyping methods and statistical analyses for forensic biology and insect evolution. Current research projects include 1) novel protocols for human identity and paternity testing, 2) population genetics of forensically important insects, 3) biosystematics of the fly superfamily Oestroidea, and 3) statistical methods for estimating time of death. Most of our research concerns the biology and forensic science applications of carrion-feeding insects. Some of these species may have evolved quite rapidly in response to human modification of the environment, and we are investigating this with a combination of molecular systematics and evo-devo approaches. The population genetic structure of these insects is little known, so we conduct population genetic surveys aimed at several questions. The chief forensic science utility of carrion insects is in estimating time of death. We develop statistical methods for placing a probability on a time-since-death estimate using insects alone or in combination with other types of postmortem decay data.
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago. M.S. Washington State University. B.A. University of Washington.