Baneshwar Singh, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
(804) 828-8420

Dr. Singh received bachelor and master degrees with gold medals in life sciences from India. He then began his PhD study in biology at West Virginia University, Morgantown, where he conducted his dissertation research on molecular systematics of the Oestroidea (a fly superfamily that includes many large and common flies of forensic, medical, veterinary, and agricultural importance) under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey D. Wells.

Professional Experience
At Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Singh serves as an assistant professor in the department of forensic science, teaches survey of forensic science, forensic entomology and forensic molecular biology courses and manages the forensic genomics research laboratory. Prior to VCU appointment, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Drs. Jeffery Tomberlin and Aaron Tarone’s laboratories at Texas A&M University, College Station, and in Dr. Tawni Crippen’s laboratory at Southern Plain Agricultural Research Centre of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-SPARC), on National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded project on development of novel methods for estimation of a postmortem interval (PMI). Along with the postdoctoral research work, Dr. Singh conducted several forensic entomology workshops for law enforcement personnel, and worked on several forensic entomology cases from Texas and other parts of the USA. During doctoral study, Dr. Singh served as a laboratory manager for West Virginia University’s Genomics Core Facility, and taught several biology laboratory courses to undergraduate and graduate students.

Professional Accomplishments
Dr. Singh has received board certification for lectureship in life sciences from UGC-CSIR, New Delhi, India. He is a member of the North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA) and an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). He has authored several peer review articles/book chapters, and presented his research at many national and international conferences, including invited presentations at annual meetings of Entomological Society of America (ESA), NAFEA, AAFS, and The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).
Research Interests
At VCU, Dr. Singh’s research is mainly focused on 1) development of improved methods for recovery of human DNA from maggot gut contents, 2) metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of microbial populations associated with carrions and carrion associated insects for development of improved method for postmortem interval (PMI) estimation, 3) analysis of microbial trace evidences for forensic applications, and 4) molecular systematics of carrion associated insects.

Recent Publications (Click on “Google Scholar” to see complete list of publications)

Cartozzo, C., Singh, B., Boone, E., and Simmons, T. (2018) Evaluation of DNA extraction methods from waterlogged bones: A pilot study. Journal of Forensic Science,


Seashols-Williams, S., Green, R., Wohlfahrt, D., Brand, A., Tan-Torres, A. L., Nogales, F., Brooks, J. P., and Singh, B. (2018). An Accurate Bacterial DNA Quantification Assay for HTS Library Preparation of Human Biological Samples. Electrophoresis,

Bharti, M., and Singh, B. (In Press) DNA-based identification of forensically important blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) from India. Journal of Medical Entomology, doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx084. (DNA-Based-Identification-of-Forensically-Important)

Tomberlin, J. K., Crippen, T.L., Tarone, A. M., Chaudhury, M. F. B., Singh, B., Cammack, J. A., and Meisel, R. P. (2017) A Review of Bacterial Interactions With Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Medical, Veterinary, and Forensic Importance. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 110(1), 19-36. (

Brundage, A. L., Crippen, T.L., Singh, B., Benbow, M. E., Liu, W., Tarone, A. M., Wood, T. K., and Tomberlin, J. K. (2017) Interkingdom cues by bacteria associated with conspecific and heterospecific eggs of Cochliomyia macellaria and Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) potentially govern succession on carrion. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 110(1), 73-82. (

Pechal, J.L., Benbow, M.E., Tomberlin, J.K., Crippen, T.L., Tarone, A.M., Singh, B., and Lenhart, P.A. (2015) Field documentation of unusual postmortem wound infliction on human remains by arthropods. Journal of Medical Entomology, 52, 105-108, doi:10.1093/jme/tju012. (

Meganathan, P.R., Singh, B., Wells, J.D., Guerrero, F., and Ray, D.A. (2015) A 454 sequencing approach for dipteran mitochondrial genomes research. Genomics, 105(1), 53-60, doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2014.10.014 (

Singh, B., Crippen T., Zheng, L., Fields A., Yu, Z., Ma, Q., Wood, T.K., Dow, S., Flores, M., Tomberlin, J.K., and Tarone, A.M. (2015) A metagenomic assessment of the bacteria associated with Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 99(2), 869-883, doi:10.1007/s00253-014-6115-7. (

Zheng, L., Crippen, T.L., Holmes, L., Singh, B., Pimsler, M.L., Benbow, M.E., Tarone, A.M., Dowd, S., Yu, Z., Vanlaerhoven, S., Wood, T. K., and Tomberlin, J.K. (2013) Bacteria mediate oviposition by the black soldier flies, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), NATURE Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/srep02563 (

Zheng, L., Crippen, T. L., Singh, B., Tarone, A. M., Dowd, S., Yu, Z., and Tomberlin, J. K. (2013) Bacterial diversity from successive life stages of black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) using 16S rDNA pyrosequencing. Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, 647-658. (

Singh, B. and Wells, J.D. (2013) Molecular systematics of the Calliphoridae (Diptera: Oestroidea): Evidence from one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, 15-23. (

Singh, B., Crippen, T., and Tomberlin, J.K. (2017) Chapter 5: An introduction to metagenomic data generation, visualization, and interpretation, pp. 94-126. In Forensic Microbiology, Edited by Carter D.O., Tomberlin, J.K., Benbow, M.E., and Metcalf, J.M. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, USA (in partnership with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences “Focus on Forensics” series).

Crippen, T. and Singh, B. (2015) Chapter 21: Forensic and Decomposition Microbiology, pp. 249-262, doi: 10.1201/b18156-27. In Forensic Entomology: International Dimensions and Frontiers, Edited by Tomberlin, J.K., and Benbow, M.E., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. (

Singh, B. and Crippen, T. (2015) Chapter 22: Methodologies in Forensic and Decomposition Microbiology, pp. 263-282, doi: 10.1201/b18156-28. In Forensic Entomology: International Dimensions and Frontiers, Edited by Tomberlin, J.K., and Benbow, M.E., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. 

Tarone, A., Picard, C. and Singh, B. (2015) Chapter 24: Molecular Biology in Forensic Entomology, pp. 297-316, doi: 10.1201/b18156-30. In Forensic Entomology: International Dimensions and Frontiers, Edited by Tomberlin, J.K., and Benbow, M.E., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.