Research project

The transfer and persistence of material

We are creating and testing methods to detect how materials are transferred from places to people, or from people to people and how long materials can last in the environment once they have transferred.

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Status

Active

Start date

May 2018

Project personnel

People

What are we doing?

We are investigating how chemical, biological and particulate materials transfer between people, objects and places and from person to person.  We are also researching how long traces persist once they are transferred. 

We are also designing bespoke experiments to account for transfer and persistence in case-based scenarios to create robust data which addresses the transfer and persistence of materials relating to specific activities.

We are creating and testing methods to detect how materials are transferred from places to people, or from people to people and how long materials can last in the environment once they have transferred.  This will involve creating proxy experiments to understand the underlying phenomena.  Secondly, the design with practitioners, of experimental methodologies based on case scenarios to explore the most common types of transfer and persistence scenarios encountered in case work.

Why are we doing it?

The purpose of this work is to generate open source data sets about the levels of certain materials on the general population and in the environment. These can be used to inform the interpretation and evaluation of trace evidence encountered in case work.

How will we do it?

We have worked with external universities to explore a common ‘universal’ methodology for the generation of proxy data at scale.   For more specific scenarios we work directly with forensic chemists and forensic biologists to develop pseudo realistic tests which address specific transfer scenarios.

Published papers

Creation of a universal experimental protocol for the investigation of transfer and persistence of trace evidence: Part 1 - From design to implementation for particulate evidence (2021)

Ménard, H, Cole, C, Gray, A, Mudie, R, Klu, JK & Nic Daeid, N 2021, 'Creation of a universal experimental protocol for the investigation of transfer and persistence of trace evidence: Part 1 - From design to implementation for particulate evidence', Forensic Science International: Synergy, vol. 3, 100165.

Creation of a universal experimental protocol for the investigation of transfer and persistence of trace evidence: Part 2 – Implementation and preliminary data

Ménard, H, Cole, C, Mudie, R, Klu, JK, Lawson, M, Green, S, Doyle, S, MacNeill, EH, Hamilton, B, Sheridan, K & Nic Daeid, N 2021, 'Creation of a universal experimental protocol for the investigation of transfer and persistence of trace evidence: Part 2 – Implementation and preliminary data'Forensic Science International: Synergy, vol. 3, 100164.

The transfer and persistence of evidence

This project is now running in universities and schools as investigative projects. If you would like to find out more or contribute to the project please get in touch.

Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science