A A A

Forensic Sciences Blog





Forensic Sciences News Viewer

The City Law School: free talk

Published: Oct 15, 2014 1:45:21 PM

CFS Bulletin September 2014

Published: Sep 4, 2014 1:29:07 PM

Dr Itiel Dror receives ABP Award for "Excellence in Training"

Published: Jun 19, 2014 11:46:40 AM

Kirstie Scott

PhD Student


Address:
UCL Department of Security and Crime Science,
35 Tavistock Square, London,
WC1H 9EZ

Kirstie Scott

Current Research

Applications of diatom analysis in forensic geoscience: developing a new technique for the comparative assessment of trace geological evidence.

Forensic geoscience is concerned with the analysis of various environmental particulates in order to compare and exclude evidential samples from a common source, or to identify an unknown provenance in a criminal investigation. Current geoforensic enquiry primarily focuses upon the value of such techniques as palynology, quartz grain surface texture analysis, bacterial profiling, and assessment of the geochemical components of soils and sediments. Diatom analysis is, comparatively, an underused method within forensic geoscience, which has masses of potential to provide an independent ecological assessment of trace evidence.
This research aims to develop diatom analysis as a new technique for the assessment of microscopic geoforensic samples. The project will examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of diatom particulates on a variety of evidential surfaces including footwear and clothing. Diatoms in a range of environmental contexts (aquatic, soil, and aerial) shall be investigated throughout this study. A range of experiments examining the transfer and persistence of diatom particulates will contribute important empirical data to appropriately direct the development of a standardised protocol for the collection and analysis of ecological evidence in forensic casework.
In addition, this project will compare the morphological and genetic techniques used in the identification of individual diatom species for forensic reconstruction. Traditional binocular microscopy (x1000 magnification) will be used alongside more detailed Scanning Electron Microscopy (S.E.M) in order to examine species specific frustule ornamentation. Further analyses shall also consider genetic diatom identification through single cell PCR, DNA sequencing, and barcode analysis.

Publications

K.R. Scott, R.M. Morgan, V.J. Jones, N.G. Cameron (2014). The transferability of diatoms to clothing and the methods appropriate for their collection and analysis in forensic geoscience. Forensic Science International (in press)

Diatom images presented in: J.J. Lowe, M.J.C. Walker. Reconstructing quaternary environments. 3rd edition (2014) Routledge.

Conference Presentations

Conference Oral Presentation: K.R. Scott, R.M. Morgan, V.J. Jones, N.G. Cameron. Diatoms in forensic geoscience: an investigation into the transfer and collection of aquatic and terrestrial diatoms from clothing for use in criminal investigation. UCL Environmental Change Research Centre seminar series, 6th February 2014 

Conference Poster Presentation: K.R. Scott, R.M. Morgan, V.J. Jones, N.G. Cameron. An investigation into the transferability and collection of diatom trace evidence from clothing: implications for the development of an independent geoforensic analytical technique. Crime Time: Advances in Temporal Forensic Investigations, Huddersfield, UK, 4th-5th November 2013  

Conference Oral Presentation: K.R. Scott, R.M. Morgan, V.J. Jones, N.G. Cameron. Diatoms in forensic geoscience: an investigation into the transfer and collection of aquatic and terrestrial diatoms from clothing for use in criminal investigation. British Diatom Meeting, Lake District, UK, 25th-27th October 2013 

Other Presentations

R.M. Morgan, G. McCulloch, K.R. Scott, V. Jones, N. Cameron. Developing the forensic applications of the organic component of sediments. The 2nd International Conference of Engineering Geophysics, Al Ain, UAE, 24-27th November 2013 

R.M. Morgan, J. Ainley, K.R. Scott, P.A. Bull. Trace Materials on Footwear – Science or Ichnomancy? National Institute of Justice Trace Evidence Symposium, Kansas City, USA, 8th-11th August 2011 

Page last modified on 15 may 14 14:38