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Recherche en Sciences Thanatologiques [Expérimentales et Sociales]

What is REST[ES]?


The site for Research on Experimental and Social Thanatology is a high security outdoor facility primarily dedicated to the physical, chemical and biological study of human decomposition. Research conducted at REST[ES] is focused on the study of death and the post-mortem processes that occur in a Northern cold climate.

REST[ES] is a combined initiative of the Laboratoire de recherche en criminalistique (LRC)(new window), the Département de chimie, biochimie et physique(new window) and the Département d'anatomie(new window) de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

REST[ES] is situated within the Société du parc industriel et portuaire de Bécancour (SPIPB)(new window). Access to REST[ES] is restricted only to authorized personnel in an effort to maintain the dignity and respect for all of our donors. We do not provide tours to the general public or media.

Why do we need REST[ES]?



The goal of the research conducted at REST[ES] is to enhance the methods used to search, locate, recover and identify victim remains. This will allow for the future refinement and development of new forensic techniques.

In addition to research, the REST[ES] will also serve as a training location for law enforcement, search and rescue teams, forensic scientists, students and consultants to death investigations.


REST[ES] is unique to the temperate Quebec climate and represents the first facility of its kind in Canada. Future sites will be developed in Quebec and throughout other regions of Canada in order to study body decomposition under different climates and ecosystems.

REST[ES] is the first facility to integrate the arts and humanities into the study of death and decomposition. REST[ES] will foster an environment where sociologists, philosophers, historians and artists can explore social and cultural phenomena surrounding body donation and the perception of death by different cultures and communities. The diversity and intersectorial nature of this research was facilitated by funds received from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec AUDACE program.