Forensic palynology is the use of pollen and spores to solve crimes. From drugs trafficking to fake honey and murders to arson, pollen has been used against a variety of criminals. This news piece provides an excellent example from one of the world's leading experts: Dallas Mildenhall.
Some murder cases are harder to solve than others. The investigation into the killing of Mellory Manning — a 27-year-old woman who was assaulted and murdered in 2008 while working as a prostitute in Christchurch, New Zealand — confounded police. They conducted an investigation and interviewed hundreds of people, but months later, they still had no solid leads. To crack the case, the police required the expertise of an unusual specialist. Dallas Mildenhall, a white-haired scientist in his 70s, is a forensic palynologist – a pollen and spores expert who helps solve crimes. One of only a handful of such experts in the world, he has helped solve cases of murder, arson and art forgery all over the globe. He once traced counterfeit malaria drugs to the border of China and Vietnam by identifying pollen in the capsules.