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UF Forensic Science Faculty
Dr. Jason H. Byrd, Ph.D., D-ABFE
Academic Qualifications: Dr. Byrd is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. At the University of Florida. He is a Board Certified Forensic Entomologist and Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology. He was twice elected President of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, and is both a Past-President and current President of the North American Forensic Entomology Association. He is the first person to be elected President of both professional North American Forensic Entomology Associations. He served for over a decade as a faculty member of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine. He serves as the Executive Manager for the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association and serves as the Director of Education for the ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program.
Outside of academics Dr. Byrd serves as a Medicolegal Death Investigator within the National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region IV. He also serves as the Commander for the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System. Currently he serves as a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has published numerous scientific articles on the use and application of entomological evidence in legal investigations. Dr. Byrd has combined his formal academic training in Entomology and Forensic Science to serve as a consultant and educator in both criminal and civil legal investigations throughout the United States and Internationally. Dr. Byrd specializes in the education of law enforcement officials, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, and other death investigators on the use and applicability of arthropods in legal investigations. His research efforts have focused on the development and behavior of insects that have forensic importance, and he has over 15 years experience in the collection and analysis of entomological evidence.
Academic Qualifications: AnnMarie Clark spent 18 years with the University of Florida managing a wildlife genetics laboratory that focused on population and conservation genetics, as well as training graduate students in the fine arts of non-lethal sample collection, how to process their own samples in the laboratory, and data collection and analysis. As an extension of the popgen focus of the laboratory, she began developing testing for poaching issues for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in the mid-1990s and handled most of the poaching cases that involved DNA analysis.
For the last two years, Clark has been working with the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine handling a wide variety of forensic cases that require DNA analysis of wildlife or companion animals including dog fighting, domestic violence, predator identification, and canine paternity/ownership cases.
She has taught numerous workshops designed to train law enforcement and attorneys to understand the questions that could be asked of DNA, how to collect evidence, and how to interpret data from the laboratory reports.
Academic Qualifications: Dr. Adams has over 20 years of experience in wildlife veterinary medicine, conservation, and issues related to One Health in Africa. She has worked with a variety of domestic and wild animals, and has a particular interest in endangered species conservation and infectious disease at the human/domestic animal/wildlife interface. She is the Founder & Director of Operations of the Silent Heroes Foundation, a charity devoted to wildlife conservation & one health in Africa.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology/Anthropology, and went on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. She completed a clinical internship in small animal and emergency medicine, and worked briefly in small animal private practice, before returning to her alma mater to work on her PhD in the veterinary sciences. In 2007 she received her PhD from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine’s Comparative Medicine Program, with a concentration in epidemiology and virology. Her PhD research focused on the molecular epidemiology and diagnosis of lentiviruses of free-ranging lions in southern Africa.
She is a board certified Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (specialties include environmental health, infectious & parasitic diseases, food safety, epidemiology & biostatistics, & public health administration & education) and the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (specialties include virology, bacteriology/mycology, & immunology). She serves as a board member for several charitable organizations focused on issues related to wildlife conservation & one health. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at the University of Florida, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Academic Qualifications: Susan Underkoffler, MFS, holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Conservation Biology and Scientific Illustration from Arcadia University and a Master of Forensic Science degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. She developed an animal forensic science track for Drexel University College of Medicine’s graduate forensics program. She spent many years as Forensics Manager for the Pennsylvania SPCA, where she developed the first Forensics Unit and handled all forensic responsibilities associated with humane law enforcement animal cruelty cases including crime scene documentation, evidence collection and processing, animal forensic exams, necropsies and courtroom preparation, along with assuming veterinary technician responsibilities and management of a court case animal fostering program. She developed and participates in community advocacy initiatives including the establishment of a Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force. She also previously worked as an analyst and researcher in the toxicology and criminalistics departments at NMS Laboratories and Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology and was an environmental scientist performing wetland delineations, Phase I site assessments, and wildlife monitoring in both Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Susan has traveled nationally as a professional consultant and educator for animal cruelty investigations. She has conducted international research in several African countries, including primate behavior and habitat conservation in Equatorial Guinea, Africa, and elephant tracking, censusing and behavior monitoring in Namibia, Africa. She also studied elephant social behavior at the Philadelphia Zoo. She has published scientific articles and biological and scientific illustrations in numerous publications. Susan is active in many professional organizations including the Society for Conservation Biology, Animal Behavior Society, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Association of Women in Forensic Science, American Academy of Forensic Science, and the International Association for Identification, and she currently serves on the Board of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association. She also serves on the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Animal Response Teams.