Dr. Colin Moffatt

Dr. Colin Moffatt

Senior Lecturer in Entomology and Statistics

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Maudland Building, MB127

+44 (0) 1772 89 3497

Subject Areas: Forensic Science

Colin is an applied biologist with research interests associated with insects' (especially Diptera) role in mammalian decomposition. He has an interest in statistical methods, which he teaches at all levels of graduate and post-graduate degrees.

Colin is research active within the area of forensic science. He is a member of the Forensic Anthropology Research Group and TRACES.

Full Profile

Colin gained a BSc in Environmental Biology at the University of Manchester before doing an MRes in Science of the Environment at Lancaster University. He then did a PhD at Imperial College, London, at Silwood Park, studying insect colonisation of artificially created habitat patches. 

He joined UCLan immediately after his PhD, initially teaching ecology in the now defunct Dept. of Environmental Management. His pet insect group has always been Diptera (flies) so it was a natural step for him to become interested in forensic entomology and move into the School.


PhD, DIC. Biological Sciences/Ecology, Imperial College, London, 2003
MRes. Science of the Environment , Lancaster University, 1998
BSc. Environmental Biology, University of Manchester, 1997


Al-Mesbah, H. Moffatt, C., El-Azazy, O.M.E., Majeed, Q.A. The decomposition of rabbit carcasses and associated necrophagous Diptera in Kuwait. Forensic Science International.

Gruenthal, A., Moffatt, C. & Simmons, T. Differential decomposition patterns in charred versus un-charred remains. Journal of Forensic Sciences.

More publications


Colin's main interest is insects and their role in the decomposition of carcasses. With Tal Simmons and students in the Masters programme in Forensic Anthropology, they have been comparing rates of decomposition for carcasses having undergone different treatments consistent with how murder victims may be disposed of.

PhD students Peter Cross is investigating the beetles associated with decomposition and Paul Birbeck will be exploring different aspects of the error associated with post-mortem interval estimation.

Colin also lends statistical support to colleagues in a variety of disciplines, and has a disparate publication record as a result.


British Ecological Society (Member)

Society for Urban Ecology (Member)

Royal Entomological Society (Member)

Royal Statistical Society (Fellow)

Higher Education Academy (Fellow: SD2 UKPSF)

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Colin gives statistics lectures and workshops to students from first year undergraduates to Masters. He teaches the Forensic Entomology module in Year 2 as well as giving the odd lecture on this topic in other modules.

He also gives some lectures in transferable skills. He has an ecological background and lectures on this topic in a couple of modules for another schools.