Megan Caulder

Holly ErnestEducation: M.S. in Forensic Science in progress, University of California at Davis B.S in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2005, University of California at Davis

Professional Associations: California Association of Criminalists

Current Research Project: Research conducted at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory’s Forensic Unit research laboratory. Species discrimination of Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer by Microsatellite Markers (for use in Forensic Casework)

Analysis of deer DNA poses a challenge to forensic casework since many species are closely-related.  Because of this genetic similarity, I am researching a way that DNA analysts could easily distinguish two closely-related deer species from one anotherby means of a microsatellite/Short Tandem Repeat (STR) panel.  I am focusing my research on discriminating white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), two species that are genetically similar and overlap in distribution in western North America.  One objective of forensic science involves the ability to link the suspect of a crime with the scene of a crime.  This research aims to aid the wildlife forensic community by providing a method of determining whether the species of deer remains at a scene is the same species as those remains associated with the suspect.

Deer #1