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UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science

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Dr Georgina Meakin

Dr Georgina Meakin

Associate Professor

Dept of Security and Crime Science

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
23rd Sep 2013

Research summary

Georgina and her students conduct research into the transfer, persistence, prevalence and recovery (TPPR) of DNA and other trace evidence. Their research within forensic DNA analysis aims to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of trace DNA, that is, DNA that can be recovered, but it's biological source, whether from a body fluid or shed skin cells or a combination of both, is unknown.  In absence of this knowledge, it is often difficult for forensic scientists to evaluate how or when trace DNA was deposited on the surface from which it was recovered.  Current research addresses the amount, the quality, and the persistence of DNA that has been deposited in a range of ways, such as through touching an item or speaking within its vicinity, and also addresses the potential onward transfer of such DNA.  This research focuses on the generation of empirical data to assist the interpretation and evaluation of trace DNA when it is recovered from a crime scene or a pertinent exhibit. Georgina also collaborates with DNA experts from across the world, including at the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department in Australia and the Netherlands Forensic Institute, to progress and raise the profile of this important area of research.

Teaching summary

Prior to coming to UCL, Georgina was predominately involved in the teaching and education of lawyers in the applications and limitations of various forensic evidence types.

At UCL, Georgina delivers lectures on various modules within the Crime and Forensic Science MSc programme.  In particular, she convenes and teaches the modules: 'Practices of Crime Scene Investigation and Expert Evidence' and 'Forensic Biology and DNA Interpretation'.  Georgina also supervises MSc students during their summer dissertation projects and co-supervises PhD students.

Education

University College London
FHEA, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education | 2017
University of Huddersfield
MSc, Forensic Science | 2008
University of East Anglia
PhD, Molecular Microbiology | 2007
University of East Anglia
BSc Hons, Molecular Biology and Genetics | 2003

Biography

Background: Georgina joined the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences in September 2013 as a Research Fellow in Crime and Forensic Science, was appointed Lecturer in 2016, and then promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. With a PhD and employment background in molecular genetics, Georgina completed an MSc in Forensic and Analytical Science at the University of Huddersfield, including a placement conducting forensic DNA research at the then Forensic Science Service Ltd.

Casework: Later, she went on to practice as a Forensic Scientist at The Forensic Institute in Glasgow, during which time, she was involved in over 100 cases throughout the UK and in New York, mostly centred on the interpretation and evaluation of DNA evidence. Georgina has provided written and oral evidence and has attended courts in all jurisdictions of the UK as an Expert Witness or a Consulting Expert. Georgina continues to provide advice and consultancy in casework within the UK and abroad, including the USA, Australia and Canada, to ensure that her research addresses the critical issues faced in forensic science practice.

Public and media engagement: Georgina contributes to a range of public engagement events, such as presenting at Science Lates events at the London Science Museum (‘A Night of Crime’ and ‘Year of Engineering’), participating in a panel discussion at the Cheltenham Science Festival (‘Jury Live: DNA In The Dock’), and giving talks for various societies, such as the MENSA Society and the University of Bristol’s Women in Science Society. Georgina also contributes to various media activities, such as interviewing for TV and radio programmes and podcasts. Most notably, she was the forensic scientist on the team of experts who re-examined the evidence in a case for the BBC2 documentary ‘The Chillenden Murders’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08sxrhz).

Publications