New Scientist and UNSW Science present...Wildlife Forensics


Thursday, 17 August, 2017 -
18:30 to 20:30


Tyree Room, John Niland Scienta Building, UNSW Kensington campus

New Scientist and UNSW Science present...

Wildlife Forensics

Did you know that maggots in a corpse can tell you the person's time of death?

Or that genetic fingerprinting of smuggled animals can help fight illegal trade in wildlife? Or that, thanks to Australian research, the DNA of 200-year-old koala specimens is revealing the effects of human activity?


UNSW Students book here for discounted tickets


Join New Scientist and UNSW Science for a two-hour evening lecture and hear about the insects and animals that are helping to solve crimes, and the cutting-edge techniques used by wildlife detectives.



- Dr Bryan Lessard – postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO

Dr Bryan Lessard, also known as "Bry the Fly Guy", will discuss the latest in forensic entomology – the use of insects in legal investigations. Not only is he passionate about flies and maggots, Bry the Fly Guy is famous for naming a newly discovered horsefly with a golden abdomen after the singer Beyoncé.

- Dr Rebecca Johnson – director of the Australian Museum Research Institute, and co-chief investigator of the Koala Genome Consortium

Dr Rebecca Johnson will discuss her work as a wildlife forensic scientist. Originally a geneticist, she helps police and border protection agents piece together DNA clues and track down perpetrators of cruelty against wildlife. She will also talk about her research sequencing the koala genome for the first time, and what it might tell us.


Booking information:

  • This event will be held in Tyree Room in the John Niland Scienta Building (see G19 on this Kensington campus map). Enter through Gate 11 on Botany Street. Parking is available in the Botany Street multi-level parking station once inside Gate 11. Parking is complimentary after 7:30pm - find out more about driving to UNSW here.
  • Doors to Tyree Room will open at 6pm, with talks commencing at 6:30pm sharp. The event will finish by 8:30pm.
  • Q&A sessions will take place after each speaker
  • Your ticket(s) will be emailed to you immediately after purchase – if you don't receive this in your inbox shortly after purchase, please check your spam/junk folders. The sender will be Eventbrite, not New Scientist.
  • Please remember to bring your ticket(s) on the day as you will need to show them to gain entry. We can scan tickets from a print out, or off the screen of a phone / tablet / smartwatch.
  • All tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable to any other New Scientist event.
  • No food or drink will be provided at the venue.
  • Should you require details about disabled access, please contact us at:
  • Tickets are subject to availability and are only available in advance through Eventbrite.
  • New Scientist reserves the right to alter the event and its line-up, or cancel the event. In the unlikely event of cancellation, all tickets will be fully refunded. Neither New Scientist nor its parent company will be liable for any additional expenses incurred by ticket holders in relation to the event.
UNSW Students book here for discounted tickets


Part of Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week.