Scattered Episode 14: A Service to the Dead – Interview with Lara Indra & Dr. David Errickson

Dr. David Errickson is a Forensic Archaeologist with Cranfield University and is part of the team comprising Cranfield Recovery and Identification of the Conflict Casualties (CRICC). While he has worked with forensic cases in the UK, he also works internationally on historical cases, primarily with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

Lara Indra is a PhD student with University of Bern in Switzerland, but completed her MA with Dr. Errickson at Cranfield University. She is currently conducting research experiments investigating how scavengers affect the decomposition and dispersal of remains. She assists with forensic casework in Switzerland and also assists with the identification of remains from historical conflicts.

Dave and Lara, along with other contributors, have written an article about scavengers and their affect on forensic contexts in Europe.

  • Indra, L., Errickson, D., Young, A. & Losch, S. (2022). Uncovering Forensic Taphonomic Agents: Animal Scavenging in the European Context. Biology 11(601).

In this episode we talk about:

  • how our current literature in scavenging and its contribution to forensic contexts may be out of date
  • Lara’s current research and how that is helping to update our baseline knowledge
  • what Lara is called upon to do in her Swiss casework and some challenges
  • Dave’s work with CRICC and helping to find, recover, and identify fallen soldiers for the DPAA
  • how the USA’s policy of repatriation differs from the Commonwealth’s
  • the Ukraine war mass graves and the identification of the dead
  • how we all think of our work in anthropology and archaeology as a service to the dead and the next of kin

You can find Dave’s Cranfield University profile here:

You can find Lara’s profile and contact information here:

Support the podcast and my research and Buy Me A Coffee. Your contributions will go toward webhosting, transcriptions, and paying for my research travel expenses. (Gas ain’t cheap!) Want to find out more about my research? Check out the Scavenging Study.

Do you have a search story to share? I’d love to hear it.

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