UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences



Gun-shot residue (GSR)

Our research into Gunshot Residue GSR aims to improve the capacity to utilise this form of evidence in the investigation and reconstruction of incidents involving firearms. 

Current research

  • Experimental studies and the simulation of shooting incidents, with a focus on improving understanding of the behaviour and dynamics of GSR.
  • Investigating the transfer, secondary transfer, persistence and distribution of GSR following a firearm discharge, and providing empirical data that can be used to underpin the interpretation of this form of trace evidence in casework. 
  • Informing investigative procedures and protocols, with a view to maximising the value of GSR evidence to an investigation and minimising the potential for contamination. 
  • Primarily exploring the use of (automated) SEM-EDX for GSR analysis, but also applying complementary analysis techniques including X-ray fluorescence. 
  • Exploring the application of Bayesian Networks (BNs) to the interpretation of forensic evidence in legal contexts.

Research projects

  • Establishing empirical evidence bases for multiple transfers of GSR; the implications for interpretation.
  • The application of GSR recognition tools for forensic analysis of other forms of trace evidence.
  • Developing approaches for the visualisation of GSR.


Dr James French
Dr Ruth Morgan
Michaela Regan
Professor Adam Gibson