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Research

Affiliations

The Department Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU is affiliated with outside organizations to advance the field of forensic science:
  • Forensic Technology Center of Excellence: FIS is participating in the new Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The Research Triangle Institute is the lead organization for this exciting new center.
  • Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine: The FIS program at WVU is partnering with the CHLC to advance the capabilities of forensic science. Click here for more information.
  • Forensic Chemistry: Dr. Glen P. Jackson, Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor of Forensic and Investigative Science at West Virginia University, has founded a new journal, “Forensic Chemistry,” to publish high quality manuscripts focusing on the theory, research, and application of any chemical science to forensic analysis.

Faculty Expertise

Faculty actively perform research in their respective fields. Many projects involve undergraduate and/or graduate-level research. 

Below you will find a directory for the department's faculty and a list of recent publications. Please click on the person's name to learn about their professional background and interests.

  • Luis Arroyo 
    • Seongshin Gwak, Luis E. Arroyo-Mora and Jose R. Almirall. Qualitative Analysis of Seized synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones by gas chromatography triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry. Drug Testing and Analysis. 2014. doi: 10.1002/dta.1667.

    • Arroyo, L, Trejos T, Almirall JR, Gardinali P. “ Analysis of soils and sediments by Laser Ablation ICP-MS: an innovative tool for environmental forensics ” Journal of Environmental Forensics, 2010, 11:315–327.
    • Arroyo, L.; Trejos,T.; Gardinali, P.; Almirall, J.R. “Optimization and Validation of a LA-ICP-MS method for the routine analysis of soils and sediments” . Spectrochimica Acta Part B. 2009, 64: 16-25.
    • Arroyo, L., and Gardinali, P. (2006) Determination of Phenoxy Acids Herbicides in Organic Rich Sediments By (ASE-SPE) and Electrospray Ionization- Mass Spectrometry (ESI-LC/MS). Revista de Ciencias Forenses Issue 1, 45-53.
  • Suzanne Bell 
    • Yeager, R., Bustin, K.*, Stewart, J.*, Dross, R.* and Bell S. Evaluation and Validation of Ion Mobility Spectrometry for Presumptive Testing Targeting the Organic Constituents of Firearms Discharge Residue.  Analytical Methods, 2015, 7, 9683-9691.
    • Greenawald, L.A., Snyder, J.L., Fry, N., Sailor, M.J., Boss, G.R., Finklea, H.O., and Bell, S. Development of a Cobinamide-Based End-of-Service-Life Indictor for Detection of Hydrogen Cyanide Gas. Sensors and Actuators B, 2015, 221, 379-385.
    • Bell, S., and Nida, C.  Pyrolosis of Drugs of Abuse: A Comprehensive Review.  Drug Testing and Analysis, 2015, 7, 445-456 .
    • Martindale, S.M., Powers, R.H. and S. Bell.  Simultaneous Quantification of Diazepam, Flunitrazepam, and Their Respective Metabolites in Reinforced Clostridial Medium by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry, 2015, 39, 29-34.
    • S. Martindale, R.H. Powers, S. BellProduction of Human Metabolites by Gastrointestinal Bacteria as a Potential Source of Post-Mortem Alteration of Antemortem Drug/Metabolite Concentrations, 2015, 7, 75-82.
  • Robin Bowen 
    • M.M. Houck and R.T. Bowen, “Teaching Ethics,” in Ethics in Forensic Science , J.C. Upshaw Downs, and A. Ranadive Swienton, Waltham, MA: Elsevier, 2012, pp.201-214.

    • Bowen, R.T. “Ethics in the Practice of Forensic Science,” CRC Press - Taylor and Francis, LLC.
    • Bowen, R.T. and Schneider, J. 2007. “Forensic Databases: Paint, Shoe Prints, and Beyond” National Institute of Justice Journal Issue 258: 34-38.
    • Houck, M.M. and Bowen, R.T . 2005. “An Argument for Microscopy: A Review of Forensic Microscopy” Forensic Science Review v17, n1: 1-16.
  • Glen P. Jackson
    • F. Huelsemann, C. Lehn, S. Schneiders, G. P. Jackson, S. Hill, A. Rossmann, N. Scheid, P. J. H. Dunn, U. Flenker, W. Schänzer “Global Spatial Distributions of Nitrogen and Carbon Stable Isotope Ratios of Modern Human Hair” Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 2015, 29, 2111-2121
    • A. H. B. Rashaid, P. B. Harrington, G. P. Jackson, “Profiling Amino Acids of Jordanian Scalp Hair as a Tool for Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosis: A Pilot Study” Anal. Chem. 2015, 87, 7078-7084
    • W. D. Hoffmann and G. P. Jackson “Forensic Mass Spectrometry” Ann. Rev. Anal. Chem. 2015, 8, 419-440
    • J. R. Almirall, G. P. Jackson, “Review: 27th ASMS Sanibel Conference on Mass Spectrometry—Security and Forensic Applications” J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2015, 26, 695-698
    • A. H. B. Rashaid, P. B. Harrington and G. P. Jackson “Amino Acid Composition of Human Scalp Hair as a Biometric Classifier and Investigative Lead” Anal. Methods 2015, 7, 1707-1718
    • W. D. Hoffmann, F. Jin, G. P. Jackson “Performance Evaluation of a Loeb-Eiber Mass Filter at 1 Torr” J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. (Focus on Harsh Environment and Field-Portable Mass Spectrometry) 2015, 26(2), 286-291
    • G. P. Jackson, Y. An. K. I. Konstantynova, A. H. B. Rashaid “Biometrics from the Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis of Amino Acids in Human Hair” Sci. Justice (FIRMS 2013 Special Edition) 2015, 55, 43-50
    • M. M. Houck, K. Williams, G. P. Jackson, D. Gialamas, J. Salyards, T. McAdam, M. Sigman, S. Ballou, G Herrin, J. Henry, V. Desiderio “American Forensic Roundtable: Progress, Status, and the Future” Forens. Sci. Policy Manage. 2014, 5(3-4), 1-19
  • Rachel M. Mohr 
    • Benbow, M.E., J.L. Pechal, and R.M. Mohr 2015. Community and Landscape Ecology of Carrion. In Benbow, M.E., J.K. Tomberlin and A.M. Tarone (eds). Carrion Ecology , Evolution, and Their Applications. p 151-186. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL. 

    • Pimsler, M.L., C.G. Owings, M.R. Sanford, B.M. O'Connor, P.D. Teel, R.M. Mohr, J.K. Tomberlin. 2016. Association of Myianoetus muscarum (Acari: Histiostomatidae) With Synthesiomyia nudiseta(Wulp) (Diptera: Muscidae) on Human Remains.  Journal of Medical Entomology. (Advance Release. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv203)
    • Benbow, M.E., Pechal, J.P., and R.M. Mohr. 2015. Carrion Community Ecology. In: Benbow, M.E., J.K. Tomberlin, and A.M. Tarone, eds.  Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and Their Applications. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
    • Mohr, R.M. “The Grounds Crew Stole My Liver, and Other ‘Adventures’ in Undergraduate Entomological Research”. Entomological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, Portland, OR.  19 November 2014.
    • Mohr, R.M . and J.K. Tomberlin. 2014. Development and Validation of a New Technique for Estimating a Minimum Postmortem Interval Using Adult Blow Fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Carcass Attendance. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 129(4):851-859.
    • Mohr, R.M. and J.K. Tomberlin. 2014. “Environmental Factors Affecting Early Carcass Attendance by Four Species of Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Texas, USA”. Journal of Medical Entomology. 51: 702-708.
  • Keith Morris 
    • Law, E., Morris, K., & Jelsema, C. Determining the Number of Test Fires Needed to Represent the Variability Present within a Firearm, Forensic Science International,  Under Review (Submitted December 2016)

    • Fagert, M and Morris, KB, Quantifying the Limits of Fingerprint Variability, Forensic Science International, 254 (2015), 87-99.

    • Vatsa, M., Singh, R., Noore, A., and Morris, K., Simultaneous latent fingerprint recognition, Applied Soft Computing, 11, 2011, 4260-4266.

    • Bell, S and K. Morris, An introduction to microscopy, CRC Press, 2010.

    • Morris, KB and RL Fitzsimmons, Error Rates in Forensic Science, Journal of Forensic Identification, 2008, 58(2), 157-171.

  • Jacqueline A. Speir
    • Speir, J., Richetelli, N., Fagert, M., Hite, M., and Bodziak, W. Technical Note: Quantifying Randomly Acquired Characteristics on Outsoles in terms of Shape and Position. Forensic Science International. Submitted December 2015.
    • Richetelli, N., Nobel, M., Bodziak, W., and Speir, J . Quantitative Assessment of Similarity between Randomly Acquired Characteristics on High Quality Exemplars and Crime Scene Impressions via Analysis of Feature Shape, Size and Geometry.  Forensic Science International.  Submitted April 2016.
    • Pieszala, J., Diaz, G., Pelz, J., Speir, J . and Bailey, R. 3D Gaze Point Localization and Visualization Using LiDAR-based 3D Reconstructions. In Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications (ETRA 2016). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 201-204.
    • Speir, J. and Hietpas, J. Frequency Filtering to Suppress Background Noise in Fingerprint Evidence: Quantifying the Fidelity of Digitally Enhanced Fingerprint Images. Forensic Science International. Vol. 242, 2014, pp. 94-102.
    • Hietpas, J., Samson, S., Speir, J. and Moecher, D. Assessing detrital garnet chemical composition as a quantitative provenance tool: A multivariate statistical approach. Journal of Sedimentary Geology. Vol. 83, No. 12, 2013, pp. 1181-1197.
    • Petraco, N.D.K., Shenkin, P., Speir, J., Diaczuk, P., Pizzola, P., Gambino, C. and Petraco, N. Addressing the National Academy of Sciences' Challenge: A Method for Statistical Pattern Comparison of Striated Tool Marks, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2012, pp. 900-911.
    • Speir, J., Goodenough, A., Schott, J. and Brown, S. Validation of In-Water 3D Radiative Transfer using DIRSIG. IEEE Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing (WHISPERS), 2010, 2nd Workshop, Reykjavik, Iceland 2010, pp. 1-4.

    • Tatiana Trejos
      • T.Trejos, Torrione P, et al. A novel forensic tool for the characterization and comparison of printing ink evidence: development and evaluation of a searchable database using data fusion of spectrochemical methods, Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2016, doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13109
      • T. Trejos, R. Corzo, K. Subedi, J. Almirall. Characterization of toners and inkjets by laser ablation spectrochemical methods and Scanning Electron Microscopy-EDX, Spectrochmica Acta B, 92, 2 014, 9-22
      • T. Trejos, R. Koons, S. Becker, T. Berman, J. Buscaglia, M. Dueckin, T. Eckert-Lumsdon, T. Ernst, C. Hanlon, A. Heydon, K. Mooney, R. Nelson, K Olsson, C. Palenik, E. Polloc, D. Rudell, S. Ryland, A. Tarifa, M. Valadez, P. Weis and J. Almirall. Cross-validation and evaluation of the performance of methods for the elemental analysis of forensic glass by µ-XRF, ICP-MS and LA-ICP-MS, Journal of Anal. Bional. Chem, 2013, 405: 5393-5409
      • T. Trejos, R. Koons, P. Weis, S.Becker, T. Berman, C. Dalpe, M. Duecking, J. Buscaglia, T. Eckert-Lumsdon, T. Ernst, C. Hanlon, A. Heydon, K. Mooney, R. Nelson, K. Olsson, E. Schenk , C. Palenik, E. Chip Pollock, D.Rudell, S. Ryland, A. Tarifa, M.Valadez, A. van Es , V. Zdanowicz, and J.R. Almirall. Forensic analysis of glass by µ-XRF, ICP-MS, LA-ICP-MS and LA-ICP-OES: Evaluation of the performance of different criteria for comparing elemental composition, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 2013, 38, 1270-1282
      • T. Trejos, A Flores and JR. Almirall, Micro-spectrochemical analysis of document paper and gel inks by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, 65B (11), 884-895, 2010.
      • T. Trejos and J.R. Almirall. Sampling strategies for the analysis of glass fragments by LA-ICP-MS: Part I: Microhomogeneity study of glass and its application to the interpretation of forensic evidence, Talanta, 67: 388-395, 2005.
    • Kelly Ayers  (Practitioner) 
      • Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst, International Association for Identification

      • Qualified Expert Witness, Forensic Identification

      • Subject Matter Expert, Cold Case Investigative Research Institute

      • Crime Scene Management Instructor, Amman, Jordan

      • Annual Presenter, Florida Division-International Association for Identification

      • Panelist, “Flawed Forensics and Innocence Symposium”, West Virginia University College of Law  

      • President-Elect, Chesapeake Bay Division-International Association for Identification 

      • Ayers, K.R . (2008). The development and recovery of identical latent impressions from independent investigations. Journal of Forensic Identification, 58 (4), 432-436.

    • Tina Moroose (Practitioner)
      • DNA Subject Matter Expert/Quality Assurance Consultant

      • Member, WV Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission

      • Carabello, N., Mendel, J., Holness, H., Moroose, T., Eckenrode, B., Stockham, R., Furton, R., Mills, D. An investigation into the concurrent collection of human scent and epithelial skin cells using a non-contact sampling device. Forensic Science International, Volume 266, September 2016, Pages 148–159.

      • Marasco E, Ross A, Dawson J, Moroose T, Ambrose T. Detecting STR peaks in degraded DNA samples”. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BICoB), Las Vegas, NV, March 2012: 1-8.

      • Ambrose T, Yeager B, Moroose T. Inhibition Study Comparing Two Commercially Available Magnetic Bead Extraction Kits. Project presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Atlanta, GA, February 20-25, 2012.

      • Hough L, Moroose T. Epithelial Cell Presence In Human Scent. Project presented at the 62nd annual scientific meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, WA, February 22-27, 2010.

    • Robert O'Brien  (Practitioner) 
      • Former Deputy Director of Identification Services for the State of Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory

      • Assisted with hundreds of crime scene investigations 

      • Expert witness in 225 cases for the prosecution and defense in state and federal courts

      • Former member of the FBI Technical Working Group for Forensic Material Analysis

      • Fellow at the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science in New Haven, CT

      • Lee, Henry C and 12 contributing authors including Robert O'BrienCrime Scene Investigator, Central Police University Press, Taiwan.

      • Lee, Henry C and 15 contributing authors including  Robert O'BrienPhysical Evidence, Magnami & McCormick, Inc., CT. 

    • Casper Venter  (Practitioner)
      • Member, Working Group of the National Forensic Science Academy – RTI & ASCLD/LAB (Sponsored by Arnold Foundation – Leadership/Management Development in Forensic Science Organizations)
      • Consultant, to forensic science programs seeking Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) accreditation.
      • Registered Instructor, West Virginia State Police (Identification & Classification of Controlled Substances, Clandestine Laboratory Investigations)
      • Venter, C.H., Quality Management in International Forensic Drug Laboratories, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing (July 18, 2013) - ISBN-13: 978-3659412677
      • Current Research: “The establishment of international standardized language and terminology for forensic science evidence interpretation and testimony in legal systems.”