Professor Niamh Nic Daéid

Position: Professor of Forensic Science and Director of Research

Address: Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, Dundee

T: +44 (0) 1382 38 4560


Professor Niamh Nic Daéid graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin before going on to complete a PhD in bio inorganic chemistry from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Professor Nic Daéid joined the University of Dundee in 2014, having previously worked at the University of Strathclyde for 20 years.


Niamh has published over 100 peer reviewed research papers in the forensic sciences and delivered over 150 conference presentations at National and International conferences.  
Her research team, who are taking up residence in the newly refurbished Fleming laboratory, are International and multi disciplinary.  They undertake operationally relevant research work related to fire investigation, drug chemistry, fingerprint enhancement, ballistics, tool marks and ink analysis.  
Niamh undertakes independent casework in fire scene investigation, terrorist events and the investigation of clandestine drugs and has been involved in over a hundred cases including high profile terrorist cases.


A comparison of the extraction of amphetamine and methylamphetamine from river water and sediment samples using molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs) followed by chromatographic analysis, W Wongniramaikul, A Choodum and N.Nic Daéid, Forensic Science International, in press, 2014

The role of isotope ratio mass spectrometry as a tool for the comparison of physical evidence, J F Carter, S Doyle, B-Lintle Phasumane, N.Nic Daéid, Forensic Science International, in press, 2014

Real time quantitative colourimetric test for methamphetamine detection using digital and mobile phone technology, A. Choodum, K. Parabun, N. Klawach, N. Nic Daéid, P. Kanatharana W, W.Wongniramaikul, Forensic Science International, 235, 8-13, 2014

Hyperspectral Imaging of Gel Pen Inks : an emerging tool in document analysis. G. Reed; N. Nic Daéid; K. Savage and D. Edwards, Science and Justice, 54,1,71-80, 2014

Development of gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) and other rapid screening methods for the analysis of 16 'legal high' cathinone derivatives. N. Nic Daéid, O. Sutcliffe, K. Savage and D. Ramsay, Science & Justice, 54,1,22-31, 2014

Chemical enhancement of footwear impressions in blood on fabric — Part 3:Amino acid staining, K J. Farrugia, H. Bandey, K. Savage, N. Nic Daéid, Science and Justice, 53,1,8-13, 2013

Influence of precursor solvent extraction effects and synthetic route on stable isotope signatures of methamphetamine prepared from over-the-counter medicines. N. Nic Daéid, S, Jayamana, W. Meier-Augenstein and H. F.Kemp, Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 405, 9,2931-41, 2013

A study of the variability in footwear impression comparison conclusions, L. C. Hammer, K Duffy, J. Fraser, N. Nic Daéid, Journal of Forensic Identification, 63 (2), 207-220, 2013

A Comparison of Enhancement Techniques for Footwear Impressions on Dark and Patterned Fabrics, K. J. Farrugia, H. Bandey, L. Dawson and N. Nic Daéid, Journal of Forensic Science, 58,6, 1472-1485, 2013

Elemental profiling using ICPMS of methylamphetamine hydrochloride prepared from proprietary medication using the Moscow and hypophosphorous synthesis, N. Nic Daéid, S Jayaram, W J. Kerr, Science and Justice, 53,3,278-285, 2013

Using the iPhone as a device for a rapid quantitative analysis of trinitrotoluene (TNT) in soil. A. Choodum, P. Kanatharana W, W.Wongniramaikul, and N. Nic Daéid, Talanta, 115,143-149, 2013

Q & A with Niamh Nic Daéid

My work is incredibly varied and something I would consider closer to a vocation rather than just a ‘job’.  As such the vocational aspect becomes intertwined with life outside of the normal working day.  It means that there isn’t a conventional ‘off’ button. 

I was at a decision making point in my career and an opportunity to come to the University of Dundee presented itself.  My role here is very different and I am in an encouraging and exciting environment where I have an opportunity to make a real difference within my discipline.

I don’t think I’ve yet reached the highlight.  There are still so many unfolding opportunities and exciting adventures yet to be had.

It is throw away statement but women can generally multi-task very effectively and this can come out strongly in the way in which we engage in our chosen career pathways.  Success is not only about the creation of new knowledge but also about communication of our science across different disciplinary boundaries in a way that is exploratory and creative.  Women, by and large, are good communicators and can translate complex ideas and concepts into understandable information.  In the future, communication skills, critical and creative thinking, positive disruptive influences and a real desire to work in teams of people from other disciplines will be critically important as the current scientific silos are eroded and new interdisciplinary spaces are developed. Engagement with the public, the ultimate societal consumers of what our research will develop, is incredibly important.

I think people can’t be ‘made’ into role models.  Strong leadership cannot be taught; it is in a sense innate.  It is about encouraging and providing opportunities for those around you so that they can realise their potential.  Leadership is about visionary thinking, not about always being right or being at the front.  Leadership is about not being afraid to be wrong, holding your hands up and acknowledging the wisdom of others and encouraging and empowering them to be the best they can be.  

The variety of activities and the impressive and inspirational team that I work with.