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Aberdeen forensic science conference explores role of animals, plants and soil in criminal inquiries

Soil forensic analysis (c) James Hutton Institute
"We look forward to discussing new approaches and methods with our colleagues from across Europe and build cooperation and collaboration and sharing best practice across the world in delivering to the criminal justice system"

Forensic scientists from across Europe are gathering in Aberdeen for the ninth meeting of the Animal, Plant and Soil Traces (APST) Working Group of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). Around 50 experts are expected to attend the three-day event being held at the James Hutton Institute’s Craigiebuckler site on 27-29 April.

The 9th ENFSI-APST meeting will showcase the crucial role that soil and biological traces of non-human origin can play in criminal investigations.

Delegates will focus on real case examples of where the understanding of how animal, plant and soil traces can contribute to forensic investigations and will feature case studies, workshops and perspectives from across the globe. The delegates will also meet the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, who will welcome them to the city.

The conference’s broad-ranging programme includes sessions on wildlife forensics, soil trace evidence analysis, geographical profiling, biological traces, non-human DNA analysis, forensic botany, microplastics in soil, thermal imaging, and the use of canine DNA intelligence, among many other topics.

Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute, said: “We are delighted to host this meeting in Aberdeen and to discuss the work that is being carried out in soil within the UK, on soil, botany and non-human DNA. We have keynote speakers from Police Scotland, the SPA Forensic Services, SASA Wildlife Crime unit and James Hutton Limited. We look forward to discussing new approaches and methods with our colleagues from across Europe and building cooperation and collaboration and sharing best practices across the world in delivering to the criminal justice system.”

APST Chair, Dr Irene Kuiper, Netherlands Forensic Institute, said: “The wide range of themes being discussed at the meeting in Aberdeen demonstrates the importance and diversity of this field of forensic expertise. Practicalities in casework, innovations in technologies, expertise in the calculation of the evidential value and setting quality standards will all be touched on during the meeting. We achieve more when we meet each other in person and work together.”

The activities of APST offers a scientific platform to collaborate, exchange experiences, discuss analytical issues, plan collaborations and generate a network of forensic trace experts. It also provides a forum for the validation, introduction and improvement of morphological, chemical, physical and molecular biological analysis in casework.

ENFSI was founded in 1995 with the purpose of improving the mutual exchange of information in the field of forensic science. This, in addition to improving the quality of forensic science delivery in Europe, has become the main aims of the network. The APST group supports the aims and objectives of ENFSI in the area of casework analysis of all kinds of biological traces of non-human origin and also soil traces.

Besides the general work in the fields of quality and competence management, research and development and education and training, different forensic expertise is dealt with by 17 different working groups in ENFSI, of which APST is one. ENFSI has been recognized as the central organisation in the field of forensic science by the European Commission.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/aberdeen-forensic-science-conference-explores-role-animals-plants-and-soil-criminal-inquiries on 02/12/23 12:02:53 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.