Volume 44, Issue 1 (January 1999)
Forensic Palynology: Variation in the Pollen Content of Soil on Shoes and in Shoeprints in Soil
Soil samples taken from and between consecutive shoeprints within a localized area were analyzed for pollen and compared with each other and with soil samples from the shoes that made the prints. The purpose was to establish the forensic value of using such samples to determine whether or not there is an association between people and crime scenes. This was done by determining the degree to which pollen assemblages in shoeprints in soil from within the same localized area differ, and the degree to which pollen assemblages in soil on shoes differ from assemblages in shoeprints in soil made by those shoes. The samples from and between the shoeprints showed a high degree of similarity, suggesting that pollen assemblages of such samples from within a localized area are homogeneous. A change in sampling depth from 1 mm to 20 mm did not significantly alter the pollen content of samples. The pollen content of the two soil samples from the shoes showed a close similarity to each other and to the soil samples from and between the shoeprints, indicating that pollen assemblages from soil on shoes do not differ significantly from assemblages in shoeprints in soil made by those shoes.