Welcome to the website of the interfaculty department forensic medicine and forensic neuropsychiatry!



Images: Luigi Caputo/University of Salzburg


July 20st 2021 Research project in Münster (Germany)

Münster Project

Images: Janine Geissenberger

Researchers from the Departments of Forensic Medicine and Biosciences participated in an international research outdoor study in Muenster (Germany), investigating postmortem degradation processes on pig carcasses for forensic time since death estimation. The animals were placed outside, as well as in tents were investigated daily for several weeks. Amongst others, results will provide additional knowledge about postmortem degradation patterns of muscle proteins and will contribute to a multi-disciplinary approach to improve time since death estimation.

 TV Documentary – Bayrischer Rundfunk – “Mit Schweine-Kadavern auf Verbrecherjagd”

July 21st 2020 The last of the Knights Templar? …

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesImage: Cemper-Kiesslich

… was Arnau de Torroja (died 1184) probably not, but the only one who’s (alleged) internment was discovered to date. In course of renovation works in the Chiesa di San Fermo in Verona, the Magister Templi è il Presidente dei Templari Cattolici d ́Italia Mauro Ferretti encountered the sarcophagus and the remains. An interdisciplinary, international project, headed by Daniele Mattiangeli (Dept. of Civil Law) and. Jan Cemper-Kiesslich (Depts. of Forensic Medicine and Classical Studies) was initiated last year, aiming to investigate bioarchaeological and archaeometric features as well as collecting and analyzing DNA from the remains. Until now it was possible to determine the sex and the age of the body. Thanks to the radiocarbon-analysis it was also possible to define the assumed age of death. The next research steps involve DNA samplings from Arnau’s relatives, to obtain reference data and to undoubtedly identify the remains from San Fermo. A third project phase – with a focus on legal history – includes the workup of the hereditary of the burial place in Verona, as well as a legal historical evaluation of the era of the disintegration of the Knights Templar – of which Arnau was the last Grand Master – at the times of the Great Schism in the 12th century.

October 20th 2019: Pig decomposition experiment at the institute

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesImages: Janine Geissenberger

A new study has been performed in collaboration of the Departments for Forensic Medicine and Biosciences, investigating postmortem protein degradation patterns in amputated pig hind limbs. These were stored for 7 days at 30 °C and muscle samples were collected at predefined time points. Biochemical analyses of collected samples will provide additional knowledge about postmortem decomposition patterns of muscle proteins. The results will contribute to a multi-factorial protein degradation model, which will be used to improve time since death estimation.

August 30th 2019 Site Visit – Forensic Research Station Amsterdam  

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesImages: Stefan Pittner

In the summer of 2018 two corpses of body donors were buried at a forensic research outdoor facility in Amsterdam as part of an international research cooperation project between the Dept. of Forensic Medicine Salzburg and research groups from Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. This summer those two bodies were exhumed and analyzed. Additionally, tissue samples were taken for various research projects. The cooperation with this – in Europe unique – forensic research facility and the associated research groups is an exceptional opportunity for the Department to conduct advanced practical forensic research.

June 30rd 2019: Research travel to forensic institutions in the USA


Images: Stefan Pittner

Scientists of the Departments of Forensic Medicine and Biosciences participated in a research travel to the United States. Visits of the Chief Medical Examiner from Detroit/MI, Dr. Carl Schmidt, the Mikrobiome-Lab of Dr. Eric Benbow and Dr. Jennifer Petchal in East Lansing/MI, the “Forensic Research Outdoor Station” (FROST) in Marquette/MI, directed by Dr. Jane Wankmiller and the Coroner of Jackson County/WY, Dr. Brent Blue were among the highlights.We discussed our ongoing collaborations, initiated new mutual research projects and gave talks about the research in Salzburg in the course of two public seminars. Seminar at the North Michigan University TV News about our seminar at NMU

May 15th 2019: Opening ceremony of the new autopsy room and offices in Linz


Image: Linz AG

A new autopsy room and offices were opened in the Johann-Metz-Staße in Linz. DI Werner Sonnleitner, manager of the LINZ SERVICE GmbH, Mag.a Karin Weilguny, department manager of the Linz AG funeral home, Univ. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Feik, Vice Rector of the University of Salzburg and Univ. Prof. Dr. Fabio Monticelli, director of the Deparment of Forensic Medicine, cut the opening ribbon with scalpels. It was a well attended and festive celebration. Press release of the Linz AG