Browse IFRI Seminars by Year:

 Frontiers in Forensic Science Seminar Series

Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at 2:00 PM in OE 134

Prof. Jurian Hoogewerff

Senior Lecturer, School of Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.

Title: Method and Model Development for Forensic Provenancing; Soil, Food and Humans

Click here to download the announcement and abstract


Frontiers in Forensic Science Seminar Series

Friday, January 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM in WC

Bob Blackledge

Forensic Science Consultant

Title: Bad Science: The Floyd Landis Case

Click here to download the announcement and abstract


 Frontiers in Forensic Science Seminar Series

Friday, December 5, 2008 at 3:30 PM in WC

Robert Koons, Ph.D.

Research Chemist, FBI Laboratory

Title: Atomic Spectroscopy in Forensic Science; It's Elemental my Dear Watson

Click here to download the announcement and abstract


Dept. of Chemistry and Frontiers in Forensic Science Seminar Series

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11 AM in WC

Professor Gary Eiceman, Ph.D.

Dept. of Chemistry, New Mexico State University

Title: Cluster Formation and Fragmentation of Gaseous Ions at Ambient Pressure in Thermochemical and Chemical Measurements

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Dept. of Chemistry and Frontiers in Forensic Science


April 11, 2008

Jack Ballantyne, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,
University of Central Florida

Not Your CSI DNA Profiling: RNA Profiling Applications in Bio-Molecular Forensics


Monday, October 1, 2007 at 2 PM in CP153



Senior Toxicologist, Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office

Title: Forensic death investigation: an overview


The accuracy of determining the cause and manner of a death is directly dependent on the quality of the case investigation by the available investigative team. This team consists of police investigators, medicolegal investigators, the forensic pathologist and the forensic toxicologist. This presentation introduces the entire death investigation process from the initial response by the law enforcement officer to the determination of the cause and manner of death, and the signing of the autopsy report by the Medical Examiner. By the conclusion of this overview one should be able to acquire a better understanding of the roles of each individual member of the forensic death investigation team. Some case studies will be presented to provide a glimpse into the world of forensic death investigations.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 11:15 AM in CP153


Jill R. Scott, Ph.D
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Science and Technology
Chemical Sciences
Idaho Falls, Idaho http://www.inl.gov/

Understanding Ion Trajectories for Designing Ion Mobility Spectrometers

The effective use of electrostatic and magnetic fields to control ion motion serves as the foundation for many scientific instruments. The advent of powerful personal computers and simulation programs like SIMION have served to broaden the understanding of ion motion in vacuum throughout the scientific instrument community, especially mass spectrometry. The relatively recent development of a statistical dynamics simulation (SDS) user program for SIMION 7.0 has provided a more accessible view into ion motions at elevated pressures for designing and evaluating ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) instruments. There are significant differences in ion behavior in vacuum and viscous environments (e.g., electrostatic refraction and motion through grids) that impact design criteria for IMS devices, especially the gating of ions into the drift region. The heart of an IMS instrument is the drift region where separation of the ions based on size takes place. Thus, it is very important to understand how the construction of the drift tube can affect ion motion, and consequently the observed spectra. Comparison of ion motion in a traditional alternating electrode/insulator drift tube with that in a pure, linear drift tube will be discussed. In these IMS drift tube instrument designs, the ions are released and allowed to travel down the axis of a cylindrical tube that has a linear electrostatic gradient. An alternative design generates and releases the ions from the center of a cylinder with radial ion motion outward toward the wall of the cylinder. In this alternative design, the electrostatic gradient is nonlinear. The main advantages of a nonlinear gradient are improved resolution and reduced charge-repulsion effect.

Pizza and refreshments will be served (Sponsored by IFRI)


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

12 Noon

Michael Sigman, University of Central Florida

New Approaches to the Analysis of Ignitable Liquids and Fire Debris

Comparisons of GC-MS data from the analysis of fire debris and ignitable liquids is facilitated through the use of a covariance mapping approach. The covariance about the origin calculated for GC-MS data sets, with subsequent normalization, forms the basis for simple distance and similarity metrics which are useful for ignitable liquid classification, database searching and complex sample comparisons. The method has recently been shown to successfully discriminate between 10 fresh gasoline samples collected in the Orlando, FL, area. The covariance mapping method will be discussed and compared to ASTM protocols which form the basis of contemporary forensic fire debris analysis.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

12 noon in

Molecularly Imprinted Polymer -- Applications in Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensor and Micro Solid Phase Extraction for Molecular Recognition of Ochratoxin A

Jorn Chi-Chung Yu
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Sam Houston State University, TX






Tuesday, March 13, 2007

12 noon in

Ultra High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography Mass Spec / Mass Spec of Seized Drugs

Ira Laurie / DEA Special Testing Lab


2006 Seminars

Friday, Jan. 6, 2006

11:30 AM in
CP 153

Free Pizza and Drinks will be served after the seminar

" Global Food Forensics, combating labelling fraud concerning claims of geographical origin"

Jurian Hoogewerff Ph.D. (Forensic Geochemist)
Institute of Food Research Norwich UK & the TRACE Project Consortium (www.trace.eu.org)

Due to the globalisation of trade in legal (and illegal) food and the limits of paper/electronic mandatory or voluntary traceability systems there is an increasing demand for techniques which can verify and/or validate the geographical origin of food and feed commodities. Not only is this relevant for consumer confidence but in almost every case where the origin and/or quality is questioned there is interest to have an independent method able to verify claimed origin.

Provenancing of raw food products like mineral water, vegetables, fruits and shellfish and processed products like honey, wine, olive oil have a high feasibility for geographic profiling as these items have a strong geochemical relation with the host rock and/or soil and precipitation. As certain rock and soil types have a limited spatial distribution on earth, the chemical signature the products inherit from their geochemical and/or bio-climatic environment, may enable geographical sourcing.

The bio-geo-chemical Natural Isotope and Trace Element (NITE) signatures consist of elemental and isotopic profiles related to regional climate (H and O isotopes), bio-environment (C and N isotopes) and geology (elements and S, Sr, Nd, Pb and other isotope systems).

Against this background the EU has funded a €19M research project TRACE to develop geo-bio-climatical analytical specifications of origin to be combined in a general traceability system. The project will investigate in detail if geo-bio-climatic profiles from a set of food commodities with different grades of complexity: mineral water, wheat, olive oil, honey and lamb meat from 20 different 10x10km test sites in Europe, can be linked to the geo-bio-climatic environment at these sites. The NITE profiles from soil digests and extracts and local water will be compared with NITE profiles of the selected commodities. On selected commodities additional compound, genetic and pollen analysis will also be performed. The gathered data, combined with full paper/electronic paper traceability data, will be used as initial training set for a Geographical Information System (GIS) based knowledge system. Subsequently the system will be tested on world wide validation sample set. Once the knowledge system is validated it is aimed to be used by the EU to routinely screen food commodities from possible questioned origin before embarking on a full forensic investigation.

The TRACE project also investigates the possibility to include geo-bio-climatic profile data on the product label in a sophisticated bar-code type manner, a biometric passport for foodstuffs, in the anticipation of the desire for much stronger traceability validation/verification in EU (import) legislation. (www.trace.eu.org).

At present, other TRACE-mirror initiatives are being set-up in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand and the USA to enable world wide geographical profiling of food commodities by NITE and related methods.


February 3, 2006

The Impact of New Technologies on the Criminal Justice System


Scientific technologies that lend themselves to the examination of physical evidence to elicit probative information in forensic cases commonly have the apparent goal “to learn more and more about less and less.” Many of today’s scientific specialists want to be involved with forensic examinations (because these “easy analytical techniques” look so sexy on TV). And when they come into the field, they think it’s most important to apply today's new science to provide "better" results than yesterday's scientists obtained, using yesterday's technologies. But one huge difference between "regular" science and forensic science is the forensic requirement to interpret one's analytical findings such that the examiner provides "probative information," not just information.

We often describe examination methods in terms of their analytical "Figures of Merit" (FOMs). These FOMs include sensitivity, selectivity, reliable response range, susceptibility to interference(s), and the Daubert-related FOMs that might help define the legally important "error rate". But forensic technologies must also contend with the fact that residua which may implicate or exculpate the connection between victims, suspects and crime scenes is not purposefully left behind. And rarely does such transfer occur onto pristine surfaces.

In this presentation, you’ll learn about: 1) Crime Lab infrastructures and expectations; 2) how Quality Assurance and FOMs play substantive roles in the many components of the overall forensic process; and 3) how the advocacy world (into which your reported findings and interpretations are submitted) impacts the way your results and interpretations are applied. Specific case examples will be used to explore the myriad of internal questions with which you may wrestle, if you spend your life eliciting probative information from evidentiary examinations. That is, if you choose to serve as a “forensic scientist.”


Thursday, May 25, 2006


Death, Drugs and Bugs: Research in Forensic Chemistry
Thursday, May 25, 2006
4 PM
CP 153
An IFRI reception will be held immediately afterward. Refreshments will be served.

Simon W. Lewis
Department of Applied Chemistry
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987 Perth
Western Australia 6845

E-mail: S.Lewis@curtin.edu.au







Dr Simon Lewis has recently been appointed to the position of Associate Professor in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Applied Chemistry at Curtin University of Technology. Previously he was the Program Director for the Bachelor of Forensic Science degree at Deakin University. In 2004 his activities in forensic science education were recognized by the award of a Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2005 he was a finalist for the Australian Awards for University Teaching in the Physical Sciences Category.

Dr Lewis’s PhD research concerned applications of chemiluminescence (chemical light) to chemical analysis. More recently Dr Lewis has focused on research into chemical techniques applied to forensic analysis. His research covers areas as diverse as new fingerprint reagents, toxicology, decomposition chemistry and the detection of drugs and explosives. This work has been carried out in collaboration with various forensic science providers such as the Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science South Australia and more recently the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs. This presentation gives an overview of this research.  


2005 Seminars

Feb. 14-18, 2005

Elemental and Isotopic Analysis of Forensic Evidence
“Hands-on” Workshop


Florida International University – Miami , FL , U.S.A.

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry and International Forensic Research Institute

Partly sponsored by the Natural Isotopes and Trace Elements in CRIMinalistics and Environmental forensics (NITECRIME) network


Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

Ira Lurie
Senior Research Chemist at the
DEA’s Special Testing and
Research Laboratory

"Implementing Capillary Electrophoresis and HPLC in a controlled environment"



Friday, March 4, 2005 at 9:30 AM

Professor Phil Marriott
Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science, RMIT University

"Fast Multidimensional GC/MS and Comprehensive Two-Dimensional GC/MS for Rapid Screening of Complex Samples"


May 13, 2005 at 11 AM in CP320

may 05

John V. Marraccini

“Theoretical and Experimental Aspects of Gunshot Wound Ballistics”


Gunshot wounds have been studied by civilian and military surgeons for centuries. Increased missile velocity and changes in bullet design have resulted in wounds that are not simply perforations of internal structures and organs. To systematically study these effects gelatin and clay target models have been used in research, and the results compared with clinical observations and reports. With the standardization of 10% gelatin, direct comparisons of penetration and disruption have correlated with human wounding in actual shootings. This lecture and discussion will review the physics of projectile/tissue interaction and the variation in wounding effects caused by handgun, rifle, and shotgun projectiles. The importance of penetration and the effects of bullet designs are discussed.