Forensic & Investigative Sciences Research Group

Forensics students

Our research group carries out high-level and world-class research in forensic science and criminal investigation. Members of our group include practitioners, consultants, professionals from the field and current researchers within chemical and biological forensic analysis, evidential scene analysis and interpretation.

Our team has accrued a wealth of knowledge and previous experience in the field which has strengthened both our curriculum and our research profile.

We collaborate with many different investigative organisations including police forces and fire and rescue services, other universities and various forensic analytical services and companies. We have strong relationships with our partners and this allows us to explore, diagnose, understand and develop areas of knowledge to improve the many aspects of forensic and investigative sciences used in court.

This is also reflected in our association and contribution within our subject specialisms as active members, representatives, board and council members, link tutors, editorial board members, peer reviewers, senior fellows, conference committee members and continual professional development and proficiency assessors within various societies and organisations.

The Forensic and Investigative Sciences Research Group is located in ARU's Science Centre, a £45m state-of-the-art teaching and research facility. Included in the centre are dedicated research laboratories with space for more than 50 staff and postgraduate students, providing specialist tissue culture, molecular biology, investigative sciences and microbiology research spaces. The centre incorporates a 300-seat lecture theatre adapted for science teaching and a 200-station biosciences laboratory.

If you’re part of an organisation or forensic science provider who wishes to collaborate or explore possible areas of research our specialisms might support, then please contact
Dr Nicholas Pugh, our Deputy Head of Department for Research, or a member of the Forensic & Investigative Sciences Research Group.

Our Forensic & Investigative Sciences Research Group is split into several research areas which include:


Find out more about our members by exploring their staff profiles.

  • Dr Leesa Ferguson - Chemical analysis of finger marks
  • Dr Lata Gautam - Drugs analysis and forensic toxicology
  • Dr Kyprianos Georgiou - Chemical enhancement of latent finger marks using wet powder suspensions
  • Joanne Morrissey - Recovery of fingermarks from ballistic evidence, use of drone at crime scenes
  • Dr Lorna Nisbet - Forensic toxicology, the detection of new psychoactive substances in biological matrices
  • Dr Rahul Pathak - Body fluid analysis, blood pattern analysis, forensic DNA analysis, entomotoxicology
  • Dr Mari Uchimoto - Body fluid identification in Forensic Science
  • Dr Nathalie Zahra - DNA profiling, fingerprint comparison, and human identification methods
  • Dr Sarah Hall - Fire investigation in forensic science, environmental toxicology
  • Dr Jo Dawkins - Fingermark development and recovery

Professional bodies and associations

Our research group includes members of:

Further information

We offer our Forensic & Investigative Sciences PhD. We've also identified a range of innovative research project opportunities for postgraduate researchers.