Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science


Ruth Morgan

Prof Ruth Morgan

Prof Ruth Morgan


35 Tavistock Square


  • Professor of Crime and Forensic Sciences
    Dept of Security and Crime Science
    Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL


Ruth's research group is focussed around the role of physical evidence in the detection of crime and concerns the interpretation of forensic evidence and intelligence.  The research falls into two main areas; evidence dynamics and the interpretation of evidence.  The group is actively seeking to establish empirical evidence bases for understanding the evidence dynamics of trace evidence (soil, sediment, pollen, DNA, gun-shot residue, explosives etc.).  It is also conducting research that addresses the need to develop our understanding of decision-making and the interaction of multiple variables in crime investigation and detection to develop an evidence base in order to enhance our ability to interpret the analysis of forensic materials more effectively, in order to generate valuable and robust intelligence and evidence.

Recent projects have included:

  • developing forensic applications of Scanning Electron Microscopy in the analysis of quartz grain surface textures and establishing complementary suites of techniques for establishing provenance of soil/sediment materials of interest to a forensic investigation.  
  • addressing the creation of empirical bases for the development of frameworks that illustrate the interaction of different types of evidence and develop probabilistic approaches for assessing the weight of evidence.
  • establishing how contextual information influences decision making at every stage of the forensic science process and how it can impact what we ultimately understand the evidence to mean.

This research is regularly presented at international conferences and is also often covered in the popular media. 

Award year Qualification Institution
2016 AFHEA
ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow
Academic studies in Higher Education
2006 DPhil
Doctor of Philosophy
Forensic Geoscience
University of Oxford
2006 MA Oxon
MA Oxon
Hertford College Oxford
2002 BA
Bachelor of Arts
Hertford College Oxford

Ruth Morgan (MA (Oxon), D.Phil) is Professor of Crime and Forensic Science in the Department of Security and Crime Science, and the Director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences.  The Centre facilitates a network of UCL academics from a wide range of different disciplines and departments to enable a strategic and multidisciplinary research programme in collaboration with external partners and forensic science stakeholders.

Ruth is the Senior Editor (Europe) for the journal Forensic Science International: Synergy. She serves on a number of national committees, is the Vice Chair of the London Geological Society Forensic Geoscience Group, and sits on the editorial board for the journal 'Medicine, Science and the Law'. She also contributed to the 2015 Annual Report of the Government Chief Scientific Advisor on Forensic Science, and is the Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee for their inquiry into Forensic Science

Ruth is a regular speaker (including a recent TED talk) and commentator on forensic science and a strong advocate for addressing the challenges faced in forensic science with problem based research that has an impact in the real world.


SEM|*|forensic geoscience|*|quartz|*|surface texture analysis