Arpad Alexander Vass (born August 30, 1959) is a research scientist and forensic anthropologist. He is also a teaching associate with the Law Enforcement Innovation Center, which is part of the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service.[2]

Arpad Vass
Arpad Alexander Vass

(1959-08-30) August 30, 1959 (age 62)[1]
Alma materBS: Virginia Tech
MS: Virginia Commonwealth University
PhD: University of Tennessee
Spouse(s)Victoria Ann Longo
Scientific career
FieldsForensic anthropology
Doctoral advisorWilliam M. Bass

Vass is the son of a Hungarian immigrant.[3] He grew up in Arlington, Virginia, where he graduated from Yorktown High School in 1977.[1] He is married to Victoria Ann Longo and they have two sons.[1]

Education and researchEdit

In 1980, Vass obtained the Antarctic Exploration certification from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The following year, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech. In 1984, Vass earned a Medical Technology degree from Fairfax Hospital. He earned a Masters of Science degree in Forensic Science from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989, and he obtained his PhD from the University of Tennessee in anthropology.[1][4]

Vass is developing a forensic science technique called "decomposition odor analysis", or "DOA", which he claims will help to identify the over 400 body vapors which emanate from a decaying and decomposing human body. A database of such vapors would in theory enable the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search teams and cadaver dogs (Human Remains Detection dogs) to detect the location of remains of human beings.[5] The database is a part of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility.[6] These dogs train in the same method as narcotic dogs can sniff out graves of buried human remains.

Vass has also put forward a proposal to search out human remains with the use of a fly with a tracking chip.[7]

Vass is developing a forensic tool to help detect and uncover forensic cases. The Forensic Anthropology Facility, located behind the UT Medical Center in Knoxville, affords scientists with bodies which have been willed to the study of forensic science and research. The molecular signature of body decomposition odor may be detected by analytical equipment or electronic body sniffer which is being researched by Vass.[8]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Vass, Arpad A (November 2001). "Beyond the grave – understanding human decomposition" (PDF). Microbiology Today. Spencers Wood: Society for General Microbiology. 28: 190–192. ISSN 1464-0570.
  • Vass, Arpad A; et al. (September 1992). "Time since death determinations of human cadavers using soil solution". Journal of Forensic Sciences. 37 (5): 1236–1253. doi:10.1520/JFS13311J. ISSN 0022-1198. PMID 1402750.
  • Vass, Arpad A; et al. (May 2002). "Decomposition chemistry of human remains: a new methodology for determining the postmortem interval". Journal of Forensic Sciences. 47 (3): 542–553. doi:10.1520/JFS15294J. ISSN 0022-1198. PMID 12051334.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Vass, Arpad A (August 1991). Time Since Death Determinations of Human Cadavers Utilizing Soil Solution (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). University of Tennessee, Knoxville. OCLC 25539141. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  2. ^ Robertson, Susan (Spring 2018). "Hands On". Tennessee Alumnus. 98 (2): 35.
  3. ^ Smirnov, Alexei (March 2004). "Top Ten Scientists". Business TN (100). Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  4. ^ Costner, Robert (April 10, 2003). "Lunch/lecture by Arpad Vass". Fornlist (Mailing list). Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  5. ^ "Uncovering The Evidence". Review. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 37 (1): 19. 2004. ISSN 0048-1262. Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
  6. ^ Vass, Arpad A; et al. (November 14, 2003). "Decompositional Odor Analysis Database - Phase 1" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
  7. ^ Goforth, Sarah (December 16, 2003). "Bodies and Bones: Where the bodies are". Archived from the original on July 4, 2010.
  8. ^ Sachs, Jessica Snyder (January 7, 2003). "New Science for the Murder Victim Search". Popular Science. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011.

External linksEdit