Wrexham Glyndwr University will host crime and rescue experts from across the UK at a ground-breaking forensics forum next month.
The Search and Identification: Forensic Investigation Conference will take place at the university over two days from Saturday May 13.
Taking place at the university’s Nick Whitehead Theatre in association with UK-K9 dog training specialists, the inaugural event brings together guest speakers from academia and industry.
This programme will comprise a number of talks and demonstration from speakers including retired fire officer David Peplow, Steve Dineley, a former soldier and tracker dog instructor at the Jungle Warfare Training School in Brunei, and Agathe Ribereau-Gayon from University College London, a PhD researcher in Forensic Anthropology at the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences and Institute of Archaeology.
Other talks on the use of DNA in forensic investigation and The Brady Letters will be given by Tricia Foley MBE and Marianne Dacombe.
Amy Rattenbury (pic attached), Forensic Science lecturer at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said the focus will be on investigations involving search and identification.
“The programme will also cover aspects on fire, explosives and drugs, and there will be strong emphasis on the use of forensic search dogs in both land and water searches,” said Amy.
“We are delighted to have speakers experienced in this field, who will present and give case studies on human identification, decomposition and how forensic investigation can be enhanced by future research and collaboration.”
The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree at Wrexham Glyndwr has gone from strength to strength, and the course is even responsible for Wales’ only taphonomic facility, also known as a ‘body farm.’
The site, alongside the dedicated crime scene house enables students to be involved first-hand in research which aims to provide data which would help police with investigations particularly where bodies.
“One particular project, which is being completed with the support of Dave Jones from UK-K9, is investigating the use and reliability of cadaver search dogs in salt water using pig carcasses which are comparable with those of humans,” said Amy.
“The body farm is the first of its kind in Wales and there’s very few in the whole of the UK. In America forensic scientists use human remains but it is still illegal in the UK. We look at how the surroundings affect decomposition, as usually a body is buried in a coffin, so we look at how this changes the way a human decomposes.
“The remains put in trees will be used to look at decomposition for scenarios such as air disasters and hangings.”
Amy’s previous research has looked in to ‘How time and pressure can cause distortion in overlapping fingerprints’, ‘Modified weapons trafficking’ and ‘An investigation in to identification from light air crashes on the Russian-Finnish boarder’.
The two-day conference costs £100, or £75 for students, including refreshments and lunch on both days.
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01978 293466. You can book tickets here.
Further details on Forensic Science at Wrexham Glyndwr University can be found here.