Forensic Pathology

Adam W Stern

Adam W Stern

Associate Professor – Veterinary Forensic Pathology
Phone: (352) 294-4077

crime scene

Welcome to the Stern Laboratory where we study all aspects of veterinary forensic science. We believe that by studying veterinary forensics, we will improve the ability to investigate crimes against animals.

Our current projects include:

Estimation of the postmortem intervalstern image

The time since death is the amount of time that has elapsed from the moment of death to the time of discovery (TOD) of the body. As most deaths are not witnessed, the veterinary pathologist must estimate the time of death. The TOD is used to establish a suspect’s proximity to the victim based on time as it helps to identify an assailant by eliminating some suspects and focusing attention on others based on time.   In our laboratory, we are assessing the use of immunohistochemistry as a method for estimation of the TOD.

Quantitative Assessment of the Percent Fat in Feline Bone Marrow

Cases of starvation of domestic cats that result in death are commonly reported in the media. Veterinarians are often called upon to examine these animals and present their findings in courtroom to judges and juries. Subjective data is collected during the postmortem examination and currently there is no validated test for cats for the objective assessment of emaciation. The goal of this project is to validate a method that provides objective data for the documentation of feline starvation-related cases.

View more information regarding this study.

Pentobarbital detection in biological fluids

Pentobarbital toxicity in dogs and birds is occasionally reported. Ingestion of toxic amounts of this drug can result in harmful and potentially fatal effects to these animals. The goal of our study is to identify an accurate and rapid method to diagnosis pentobarbital toxicity.

Our Team:

  • Adam W. Stern, DVM, Diplomate ACVP

Dr. Stern is board certified in anatomic pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. He runs the veterinary forensic pathology service within the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Manavi Muralidhar, MS

Manavi is a forensic laboratory technician and has a MS in Biomedical Forensic Sciences. She maintains daily function of the laboratory.

More information: