Kayleigh Robertson

“The bursary provided me with a rewarding opportunity that I would not otherwise have been able to experience.”

In Summer 2009, Kayleigh Robertson spent 6 weeks working with Dr Dorothy Gennard at the University of Lincoln investigating the influence of decomposition odours on the hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus DeGeer). Kayleigh’s project focused on which particular odours attracted the beetles to food sources such as corpses. She investigated the effects of dimethyl disuphide, dimethyl trisulphide and dimethyl tetrasulphide on the hide beetles, and discovered that these are not the chemicals that are attracting the hide beetle to food, either individually or in combination.

Kayleigh’s research has extended the current knowledge of Dermestes macalatus, and supports a current PhD study. Kayleigh’s research is also being submitted for presentation at the European Association for Forensic Entomology in Spain next year.

Talking about her experience, Kayleigh said:

“Working independently, without a lab partner, has taught me to plan carefully, yet take into account that these plans may have to be altered as results come in. I think this experience has been challenging, however I feel I have benefited greatly.”