My profession confuses people, says Nigerian American entomologist- Victoria Essien

Nigerian born US-trained forensic entomologist Victoria Riverson (Essien), popularly known by her social media name, Viclinlove, said she often find it odd that the average person wonders what kind of job she is doing the moment she mentions her profession.

In a recent interview, Viclinlove who was born in Nigeria and acquired her Bachelor’s degree in forensic science at the American Intercontinental University in Houston, Texas, United States, said: “For instance, people always ask me, what do you do? And I always respond simply that I respond to the crime scene so I can document, recover, and identify human remains and collect and preserve physical and biological evidence.”

According to her, her expertise is often needed when insects or arthropods are found in a dead body.

Speaking further, Viclinlove disclosed why she chose to have a career in that field. “I decided to become a forensic entomologist because I like to estimate the age of insects developing on human remains at a crime scene to help with an ongoing investigation,” she stated.

Her job, she stressed, is better done before the body is removed from the crime scene. “It is important because it gives a better estimate time of death,” she said.

Avowing that the kind of job she does requires a lot of skill, Viclinlove further described the methodology of her work, saying: “Entomologist collects data and gives full details of what was collected. We make use of the entomology kit and net. I determine the type of insect found on the decomposed body and look at the life cycle of the insect to know how long the person has been dead.”

Despite having worked in over 85 cases, Viclinlove, however, avowed that Forensic entomologists have their limitations “We cannot say the actual time of death; we usually give an estimate,” she stated.

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