Rutgers instructor: During zombie apocalypse, you’d be fine

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 Kimberlee Sue Moran of the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education works at a dig site during a police training course. (Image courtesy of Moran)

Kimberlee Sue Moran of the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education works at a dig site during a police training course. (Image courtesy of Moran)

With Halloween coming up, an instructor at Rutgers-Camden has a survival guide for you — a zombie survival guide.

Kimberlee Sue Moran is a forensic archaeologist. That means she helps the police when they uncover bodies or partial remains. She may work with the dead, but she’s no fan of the undead.

“I have a bit of a, I don’t want to say a fear of zombies, but I’m just not a big fan of them,” Moran said.

Moran is the reigning Scientist of the Year at the Philadelphia Geek Awards. Her work with zombies started with a talk last spring at Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery. The goal was to explain the science of death and decomposition, using zombies as an entertaining twist.

“Zombies are the new vampires, we see zombies all the time in popular media,” Moran said. “But coming from a scientific point of view, it’s just not going to work.”

For example, a zombie would be too stiff to walk around much, thanks to rigor mortis, Moran says. And then there’s this:

“Basically, you’re liquefying from the inside out,” she said of decomposing bodies. “So if you’re not too stiff to go chasing after somebody, you’re going to be kind of sloshy and literally falling to pieces. You’re not going to be chasing after anybody.”

Her survival guide does come with a caveat of sorts. Moran’s talking about traditional zombies — back-from-the-dead types, not those newfangled zombies possessed by biological agents and whatnot.

Still, her message is simple: Don’t fret, you’d be fine in a zombie apocalypse.

“If you’re someone like me who’s not a big fan of zombies, you can sleep easy tonight knowing that you’re safe, that no zombies are going to come and get you,” Moran said.

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