2012 MRes projects
- Twitter and Crime: The spatio-temporal link between social-media and criminal activity
- To what extent do water treatment processes affect the concentration of peroxide explosives in river water?
- Dual-band Frequency Reconfigurable Antennas
- Incorporating Nanostructures to Enhance the Performance of Semiconducting Metal
- A relevance study determining the use of GSR upon clothing and shoes as an item of evidence
- Automating the conceptual analysis of large-scale text-based subjective data sets
- Assessing the potential of e-noses for illicit drug detection in future drug-trafficking interdiction strategies
- Judgement in UK fingermark recovery: room for development?
- Modelling the allocation of crowd control resources
- Comparative study of the different feature extraction algorithms used for fingerprint identification
- Domain Adaptation of Statistical Classifiers for Security-related Bug Reports
- The detection of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories using semiconducting metal oxide gas sensors
- The evaluation of geochemical analysis methods for forensic provenance and interpretation
- Confirmation bias: A Study of biasability within Forensic anthropological visual assessments on skeletal remains
- Statistical change point detection of internet traffic
- Trace evidence dynamics: assessing the transfer and persistence of microbial diatom evidence in forensic investigation
- Data Communication for Underwater Sensor Networks
- Automated Cargo Inspection: Exploring the use of Machine Vision in X-ray Transmission Imaging
- Network Externalities and Migration: An Agent-Based Model Distinguishing Documented and Undocumented Flows
Trace evidence dynamics: assessing the transfer and persistence of microbial diatom evidence in forensic investigation
22 March 2013
Recognising and recovering minute quantities of evidentially significant material, can aid in forensic interpretation and provide scientific weight in criminal trial. The forensic use of diatoms has so far been focused upon diagnosing cases of drowning through identifying and attempting to exclude diatoms found in internal organs and the bone marrow with distinct localisations (e.g. Cameron, 2004; Ludes et al, 1999). Use of diatoms as trace evidence has been used to link people and objects with crimes involving freshwater and saltwater environments (e.g. Siver et al, 1993). Although diatoms naturally exist in abundance and can help to identify and compare/exclude localities, people, and objects; analysis of microbial evidence is so far underused in forensic contexts, with very little in the published literature. Diatoms are important environmental indicators due to their diversity and specificity to habitat location, and their resistance to chemical and temporal change. Diatoms primarily exist aquatically, however terrestrial and aerophilic diatoms are also dominant microscopic features of environments. The contribution of diatoms to forensic science has been researched within the realm of water; however there are significant gaps in current research as to the value of terrestrial diatoms in soils and other terrestrial surfaces, and their evidence dynamics in transferring and persisting over time. This project aims to assess the degree of transferability of trace diatom particulates between a range of natural terrestrial habitats and their persistence on clothing over time. This study will consider the impact of variables including seasonality, moisture, and temporal decay; in order to gain further insights into the dynamics of trace microbial diatom evidence and their potential application to forensic enquiry.