Zoe Cadwell


Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Forensic science and crime

Zoe’s expertise is crime scene examination, gained as a professional practitioner. Her interests include latent fingerprint development and survivability of forensic evidence within burial environments.



Zoe graduated with a BA (hons) in Archaeology and Post-graduate diploma in Forensic Archaeology before embarking on a 13 year career as a Crime Scene Investigator. Working for four UK Police forces, she covered the full range of crime scene examinations, including high profile investigations and cold cases. Throughout this period Zoe continued to develop skills and experience in forensic archaeology, CSI training, quality standards and crime scene management. She also worked on reciprocal training projects with Forensic Science Providers and Fire and Rescue Services.

She became a lecturer in Crime Scene and Forensic Investigation at City and Islington College in 2014, teaching Crime scene examination, forensic photography, crime scene management, fatal incident investigation and UK Criminal Justice systems and law.

In addition to professional practice qualifications in relation to crime scene examination, Zoe also has an MSc in Forensic Science and a Diploma in Forensic Human Identification.

She joined ARU as an Associate Lecturer in January 2016, became a full time member of staff in November 2016 and continues to work in forensic practice as a consultant.

In 2019 Zoe was awarded a Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Memorial Trust to travel to Australia and Canada and visit researchers and practitioners in forensic archaeology and fingerprint development.

Research interests

  • Latent fingerprint development on polymer banknotes
  • Investigating factors relating to the development of fingerprints on evidence recovered from the burial environment
  • The impact of the implementation of ISO17020 on the training and working practices of UK crime scene examiners
  • Crime Scene examination
  • Forensic Archaeology
  • Fingerprint development
  • The use of ALS at the crime scene to locate latent fingermarks contaminated by everyday non-visible materials
  • Utilising IR in the screening of crime scences and recovered materials contaminated with blood
  • Relationship between Academia and Forensic Practice both in the UK and Internationally

Areas of research supervision

  • Fingermark development
  • Forensic burial environment
  • Crime scene practice
  • The use of ALS at the crime scene to locate latent fingermarks contaminated by everyday non-visible materials
  • The validity of current forensic materials in the recovery of fingermark and trace evidence from crime scenes


BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies
Module leader for Introduction to Police and Forensic Photography
Module leader for Mass Fatality Incidents
Module leader for Fire Investigation
Module leader for Forensic Anthropology
Contributes to Crime Scene Analysis

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
Module leader for Introduction to Police and Forensic Photography
Module leader for Forensic Anthropology

MSc Forensic Science
Contributes to Evidence Collection an Management


BA (Hons) Archaeology - University of Leicester
Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Archaeology - Bournemouth university
MSc Forensic Science - University of Leicester
Diploma in Forensic Human Identification - Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians
PG Cert in Higher Education and Learning - Anglia Ruskin University

Memberships, editorial boards

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences - Professional Member
CPD/CPC Assessor (Crime Scene Investigation) - Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
International Association for Identification (EU) - Member
Society of Evidence Based Policing - Member
Higher Education Academy - Fellow
British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology - Member
Forensic Archaeology Speial Interest Group (Chartered Institute for Archaeologists)
2019 Churchill Fellow

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Project Consultant - Collaboration of State Government of Maharashtra, British Council, Government of India, BIS and UKIERI in the development of Centre of Forensic Excellence for the state of Maharashtra

Consultancy - Alecto Forensics - Forensic Ecologist

Churchill Fellowship Grant

Recent presentations and conferences

Cadwell Z, Dawkins J. 2018. Subterranean Survival: The Persistence of fingermark Evidence in the Burial Environment. The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences Annual Conference 2018, Northampton. 1st-2nd November 2018

Cadwell, Z. 2016. Operation Anagram: The Crime Scene Investigator, Forensic Science and the Serial Murderer. 3rd Annual Student Conference. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK 9th May 2016 (Keynote Speaker).

Cadwell, Z., Nichols-Drew, L. 2016. Tripartite Approach of Industry, Academia, and Research in Forensic Science: Novel Fingermark Development Methods. The Forensic and Policing Services (FAPSA) Conference 2016. College Court, Leicester, UK. 12th-13th May 2016.

Cadwell, Z. 2016. Polymer Banknotes: How Are We Going to Treat Them? International Association for Identification (EU Division) 2nd International Conference 2016. Interpol HQ, Lyon, France, 20-21st October 2016. (1st Prize for best conference poster).