Your browser does not support JavaScript!
home / graduate research students

Graduate Research Students


Clayton Nolting

Clayton Nolting is an MS student under Dr. Ralph Williams and Patrick Jones. His focus of study is forensic entomology. He has a BS at Purdue in Organizational Leadership and Supervision with a minor in Forensic Science.

His research focus is assessing the effects of gunshot trauma on the rate of colonization and decomposition by carrion insects using pig carcasses. He is comparing different calibers of gunshot including 12 gauge shotgun with 7 1/2" bird shot, 40 S&W, 9mm parabellum, and 22LR. All of the pistol cartridges are full metal jacket or hard ball ammunition.
Research Photos (Click on thumnails to enlarge)

Weapons used in creating the wounds. 12 Gauge shotgun, 9mm handgun, .22 cal hand gun, and .40 cal handgun.
Pig shot with 12 gauge shotgun.
Ovapositioning of blowfly eggs.
Blowflies drawn to the bullet wound and laying eggs. (9mm wound)
Blowflies drawn to the bullet wound and laying eggs. (.40 cal wound)


Kristi Bugajski

Kristi Bugajski is a PhD student under Dr. Ralph Williams. Her focus of study is forensic entomology. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s College and a Masters of Science degree from Michigan State University. During her educational careers she has had the opportunity to work under four board certified forensic entomologists, Dr. Ralph Williams, Dr. Neal Haskell, Dr. Rich Merritt, and Ryan Kimbirauskas.

The focus of her research is the effect of household chemicals on blow fly development, oviposition timing, and estimations of the post mortem interval. She is examining the effect that ammonia, muriatic acid, bleach, gasoline, lime, OFF©, and Raid© have on decomposition using pigs as a research model. She has five replicates of each treatment and five controls that have nothing put on them. The pigs are all coated in their respected chemicals and then observed for a 30 day period. Adults and larvae are collected and identified during this time period. The effect that the chemicals have on the post-mortem interval estimations are then assessed. Her research stems from a murder that occurred in Indiana that involved chemicals. She is a member of the Entomological Society of America, The American Academy of Forensic Science, The North American Forensic Entomology Association, and the Indiana Microscopy Society. She has published her previous work with the Journal of Medical Entomology. Kristi is a teaching assistant for the department in introductory entomology courses.
Research Photos (Click on thumnails to enlarge)

Lime is being applied to one of the test pigs.
A maggot mass infesting the head and eye socket of a pig
Pig carcass treated.
Kristi is preparing to treat some of the test pigs with ammonia, chlorine bleach, and acid.
Kristi placing chemical treatments on dead pig.

Undergraduate Research Students


Michael Burgess

Mike's research under the lab director Patrick Jones strengthens a topic in Forensic Science under Blood Spatter Analysis. Applying this field, Crime Scene Investigators can determine the multiple angles in which blood hits a flat surface, and find very helpful information, such as how many times something was struck, sequences of events, where different events occurred, among many other things. However, the equations the investigators use are only applicable when blood hits a flat surface. Using many years of study in mathematics, we are deriving equations and procedures that people can use on the scene for any type of surface, curved or not, thereby strengthening the field in many ways.
Research Photos (Click on thumnails to enlarge)

Photographic setup to document blood spatter on cylinders.
Photographic setup to document blood spatter on cylinders - angle view.
Blood dropped on a cylinder.
Blood drops on a cylinder.
Computer-generated drawing of blood on a curved surface.

Research Information

Graduate Research Students

Clayton Nolting
Kristi Bugjski

Undergraduate Research Topics

Michael Burgess