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Crisis Centre

Student achievement

Our Forensic Science program strives to maintain high standards of education and professional experience. A thorough assessment of the students’ abilities is integrated in course curriculum and measured in their final year through the Honours Thesis Project. Beyond graduation, the success of the program and the impact on the student is further assessed through exit and career surveys developed by the Forensic Science program and the university.

Our undergraduate students have had numerous opportunities to present their work outside of the university, as well as publish papers in peer-reviewed journals. Their achievements include:

  • Journal article publications in:
    • Forensic Science International
    • Identification Canada
    • International Journal of Legal Medicine
    • Journal of Forensic Identification
  • Conference presentations at the annual meetings of:
    • American Academy of Forensic Sciences
    • American Society of Questioned Document Examiners
    • Canadian Chemistry conference
    • Canadian Society of Forensic Science
    • Congress of the International Academy of Legal Medicine
    • International Association of Forensic Sciences
    • International Soil Forensics
    • International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences
    • Society of Forensic Toxicologists
    • Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training conference
  • Financial and other academic awards:
    • National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) undergraduate and graduate research awards
    • University of Ontario Institute of Technology Student Training Assistantships in Research (STAR) awards
    • University of Ontario Institute of Technology Student Research Showcase Best Poster Award (2012 and 2015)

Publications

  • Journal articles
    • Dziak, R., Peneder, A., Buetter, A. and Hageman, C. 2018. Trace DNA Sampling Success from Evidence Items Commonly Encountered in Forensic Casework. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 64(3): 835-841. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13622
    • Roloff, B., Buetter, A., and Adach, E. 2016. The recovery of latent fingerprints from paper using the Electrostatic Detection Apparatus®. Identification Canada. 39(4): 124-144.
    • Forbes, S.L., Wilson, M.E.A., and Stuart, B.H. 2011. Examination of adipocere formation in a cold water environment. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 125(5): 643-650. DOI 10.1007/s00414-010-0460-6.
    • Bissonnette, M., Knaap, W., and Forbes, S.L. 2010. Steam development of latent fingerprints on thermal paper. Journal of Forensic Identification. 60: 619-638.
    • Comstock, J., Beeton, M., and Forbes, S.L. 2010. An investigation of barefoot morphology, friction ridges and their significance in forensic identification. Identification Canada. 33:4-19.
    • Van Belle, L.E., Carter, D.O., and Forbes, S.L. 2009. Measurement of ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen influx into gravesoil during aboveground and belowground carcass (Sus scrofa) decomposition. Forensic Science International. 193: 37-41.
  • Conference presentations
    • Gendi, M., & LeBlanc, H.N. The effect of developmental maturity of female blow fly Phormia Regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on EAG response to decomposition volatile organic compounds. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Annual General Meeting, Gatineau, Quebec. May 2018. 
    • Baptiste-Carmichael, T. Factors that affect the transfer and persistence of DNA on evidence items and surfaces. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Annual General Meeting, Gatineau, Quebec. May 2018. 
    • Ly, J. LeBlanc, H.N. Electrophysiological response of Phormia Regina to cadaveric pig volatile organic compounds. International Association of Forensic Science (IAFS) Triennial Meeting, Toronto, Ontario. September 2017.
    • LeBlanc, H.N. & Ly, J. Electrophysiological response of Phormia Regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to cadaveric pig Volatile Organic Compounds. North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA), Davis, California USA. July 2017.
    • Arnott, J., and Hageman, C. The indirect Transfer of “Touch” DNA onto a firearm via multiple intermediary steps. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Annual General Meeting, Montreal, Quebec. May 2016. 
    • LeBlanc, H.N., Buetter, A., Robinson, K. & Forbes, S.L. Evaluation of decomposition and insect colonization of pig (sus scrofa) cadavers inside a vehicle. 68th Meeting of American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS). Las Vegas, Nevada. February 2016. 
    • Falconer, C., Ma, K., Nugent, K., and Gaspari, F. Creating a standardization variable to assist law enforcement in classification of firearms as either lethal or non-lethal. University of Ontario Institute of Technology Undergraduate Research Showcase, Oshawa, Ontario. August, 2015. 
    • Giguere,E. The Influence of added weights on the morphology of barefoot impressions. Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. May 2015.
    • Londero, V. Fibre transfer onto Knives after Penetrations through Fabric and Flesh. Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. May 2015.
    • MacLean, B. Penetrating Capabilities of Air Guns: Analysis of Projectile Behaviour. Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. May 2015.
    • Rolko, E. and LeBlanc, H.N. Assembly of an Electroantennogram and Isolation of Active Compounds Associated with Cadaver Decomposition Using Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae). 59th Conference of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science. Gatineau, Quebec. May 2014.   
    • Wou, S., Olson, G., Sainte-Marie, S., Nugent, K., and LeBlanc, H.N. The Effects of Extreme Temperatures due to Fire on Presemptive and Confirmatory Testing of Biological Fluid. 59th Conference of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, Gatineau, Quebec. May 2014. 
    • Corbett, M., and Vallikanthan, T. K30 Breath Ethanol Concentration in Obese and Underweight Humans. 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, Washington. February 2014. 
    • Fazio, K., Auer, S., Nugent, K., Spencer, R., and Tanaka, T. The Effects of Constraint on a Signature's Static and Dynamic Features. 70th Annual American Society of Questioned Document Examiners Meeting. Charleston, South Carolina. August 2012. 
    • Michael R. Corbett, PhD, LLM*, and Andy Huang, BSc Comparison of Ethanol Elimination Rate of Human Females and Body-Paired Males. 64th American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting, Atlanta, Georgia. February 2012. 
    • Peneder A., Renata Dziak, Kimberly Nugent and Jonathan Millman. Trace DNA Sampling Success Rates for a Evidence Items Commonly Encountered in Forensic Casework. 57th Annual Canadian Society of Forensic Science Conference. Toronto, Ontario. November 2010.
    • Michael R. Corbett and Anu R. Singh, Sample Requirements (Pressure, Flow-Rate, Volume, Duration) of Investigated Breath Alcohol Test Devices (Alcotest 7410, Alert J5) and Instruments (Intoxilyer 5000/5000EN, Breathalyzer 900/900A, BAC Datamaster). Society of Forensic Toxicologists meeting in Richmond, Virginia. October 2010.
    • Perrault, K., Hulse-Smith, L. and LeBlanc, H.N. A comparison of DNA collection techniques used in forensic casework. UOIT Second Annual Graduate Student Research Conference. Oshawa, Ontario. May 2011.
    • Forbes, S.L., LeBlanc, H.N., Perrault, K. and Buetter, A. Decomposition in a closed vehicle environment in southern Ontario. 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Chicago, Illinois. February 2011.
    • LeBlanc, H.N., Forbes S.L., Buetter, A., and Perrault, K. Study of Insect Colonisation Delay in a Closed Vehicle Environment. Canadian Society of Forensic Science – 57th Annual Conference. Toronto, Ontario. December 2010.
    • Forbes, S.L., Stogran, M.A., and Carter, D.O. An investigation of amino acids in decomposition soil. 3rd International Soil Forensics Conference. Long Beach, California. November 2010.
    • Forbes, S.L., Wilson, M.E.A., and Stuart, B.H. Examination of adipocere formation in Lake Ontario, Canada. 20th International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences. Sydney, Australia, September 2010.
    • Buis, R. Devine, R. and Forbes, S.L. Using iodine silver plate transfer and a-napthaflavone for the development of latent fingerprints on skin. 2010 Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. March 2010.
    • Bygarski, K. and LeBlanc, H.N. The Effects of Clothing on Decomposition and Insect Succession in a Southern Ontario Region. 2010 Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. March 2010.
    • Caruana, B., Knaap, W. and Nugent, K. Recovery of DNA from chemically-treated fingerprints. 2010 Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. March 2010.
    • Comstock, J., Beeton, M. and Forbes, S.L. Forensic Examination of Barefoot Morphology.2010 Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. March 2010.
    • Van Osch, J., Chalmers, D. and Forbes, S.L. Detection of cleaning products and fingerprints with DPSS CW portable forensic laser. 2010 Toronto Police Forensic Identification Training Conference, Toronto, Ontario. March 2010.
    • Stogran, M. A., and Forbes, S.L. Optimisation of a method to quantify amino acids in soil using HPLC-UV/Vis. 92nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Hamilton, Ontario. June 2009.
    • Forbes, S.L., Van Belle, L. and Carter, D.O. Measurement of ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen influx into gravesoil during decomposition. XXI Congress of theInternational Academy of Legal Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal. May 2009.
    • Forbes, S.L., Lumley, T., Carter, D.O., and O’Brien, S.L.N. Succession of microfungi in gravesoil. 59th Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, San Antonio, Texas, February 2007.
    • Forbes, S.L., Nugent, K., McLeish, S., and O’Brien, S. The potential application of forensic mycology to the estimation of post-burial interval. Canadian Identification Society and Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences Conference, Windsor, Ontario. August 2006.

Capstone experience - Forensic Science Research Day

  • Overview

    Mock Crime Scene Practicum

    The focus of the Mock Crime Scene Practicum is to apply practical skills to process a complex crime scene. This is accomplished by simulating all the associated events a person may encounter from crime scene to court. This includes extensive documentation of the scene, collection and identification of evidence, creation of detailed logs and forensic reports, and testifying as an expert witness in a mock court setting. Students selecting this capstone experience are expected to individually prepare a written report and collaborate on an oral presentation.

    Directed Studies

    The focus of the Directed Studies project is to identify gaps in the research literature. This is achieved by conducting a thorough literature review on a particular subject. Ultimately, the goal is to review the current state of the chosen field, leaving no stone unturned and putting current research into the broader context of forensic science. Students selecting this capstone experience have the opportunity to investigate more diverse subject matter where conducting original research may be difficult. Students are expected to prepare a written document and a three-minute oral presentation.

    Thesis Project

    The focus of the Thesis Project is to fill the gaps in the research literature. This is achieved by reviewing previous studies, designing an experiment and conducting original examinations. Ultimately, the goal is to contribute novel research to a relevant field of forensic science or broader natural science. Students work closely with either internal or external supervisors who mentor them throughout the course of their work. Students selecting this capstone experience are expected to prepare a written thesis and oral presentation.

  • 10th-annual Forensic Science Research Day - 2018

    Student examining an insect. 

    Mock Crime Scene Practicum

    • Marina Halim
    • Jeremy Reader
    • Alyssia Robichaud
    • Kendra Rogers
    • Camilla Szyszka
    • Sarah Wildman

    Directed Studies

    • Tenecia Baptiste-Carmichael. Factors Affecting the Transfer and Persistence of DNA on Forensic Evidence
    • Natalie D'Hollander. A Critical Review of Publicly Available Presumptive Tests for Common Substances Used in Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

    Thesis Project

    • Rachel Banks1; Stacey Sainte-Marie, MSc1; Cecilia Hageman, PhD, LL.B, LL.M1. Creation of a Textile Damage Image Library. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Leanna Calla, Sean Bohun, PhD.1, Hélène LeBlanc, PhD1. Decreasing PMI Uncertainty using a Simplified Heat Equation. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Ashley Cheung1, Eleanor McAnsh2. Performance Verification of Raman Spectroscopy for the Forensic Comparison of Reactively-dyed Cotton Fibres. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2Centre of Forensic Sciences.
    • Autumn Collins1, Jean-Paul Desaulniers, PhD1. Synthesis of Uracil Phosphoramidites with Triazole Modified Backbones as siRNA Therapeutics for Gene Silencing. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Malak Elayas1; Det/Cst Desiree Hamid2. Visual Enhancement of Footwear Impressions Containing Salt Residue Using Silver Nitrate. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; 2Durham Regional Police Service, FIU
    • Mirai Gendi1; Helene LeBlanc, PhD1. The Effect of Developmental Maturity of Female Blowfly Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on EAG response to Decomposition Volatile
      Organic Compounds. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Michelle Haché1; David Ruddell, PhD2. An Examination of Gunshot Residue Sampling on Fabric using the Tape-Lift Method. 1Faculty of Science, UOIT; 2Centre of Forensic Sciences
    • Trista Heney1; Eugene Liscio, P. Eng.2 Accuracy and precision of a three-dimensional (3D) approach to the lead-in method and bullet trajectory reconstruction. 1Faculty of Science, UOIT, 2President, AI2-3D
    • Shannon Law1; Cecilia Hageman PhD, LL.M1; Jon Millman PhD2; Alison Morris M.S.F.S2. The Persistence of Post-Coital Male DNA on Vaginal and External Genitalia Swabs in Relation to Cases of Sexual Assault. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; 2Centre of Forensic Sciences
    • Erin Lusk1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. The Validation and Calibration of a Portable Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Samantha Pontone1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. The Effects of Fire and Suppression Techniques on the Detection of Biological Fluids. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 
    2018 Forensic Science Graduating Class Group Photo

    2018 graduating class with Forensic Science faculty members

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  • 9th-annual Forensic Science Research Day - 2017

    Multicoloured chlorate crystals viewed at 10x magnification.

     Mock Crime Scene Practicum

    • Brandon Chen
    • Madeleine Lord
    • Kamesha Persaud

    Directed Studies

    • Christopher Adair1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. Health Effects Associated with the Use Less-Lethal CEDs. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Nicole Crawford1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. The Challenges of an Underwater Crime Scene. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Janel B. Pangilinan1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. Human Chimeras and their Effects on Forensic Investigations and Relatedness Testing: A Literature Review. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Nicole Santos1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Careers Booklet. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Savannah Serrao1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. A Review of the Understanding of DNA Evidence by the Legal System. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Sarah Sime1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. A Comparison of Extraction Techniques for Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Mary Walker1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1. Forensic Science in Canada: An Overview. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Benjamin Wong1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. The Implications of DNA Evidence in Wrongful Convictions. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    Thesis Project

    • Chantelle Forbes1; Stacey Sainte-Marie, MSc1; Cecilia Hageman, PhD, LL.B, LL.M1. Direct and Indirect DNA Transfer in a Mock Crime Scenario. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Taryn Glazier1; Stacey Sainte-Marie, MSc1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1. Recovery of Trace DNA from Nitrile Gloves. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Julie Ly1; Hélène LeBlanc, PhD1. Electrophysiological Response of Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to Sus scrofa Cadaveric Volatile Organic Compounds.  1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Michele Pickles1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1; Stacey Sainte-Marie, MSc1. The Creation of a Searchable Electronic Natural and Synthetic Fibre Database. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Felicia Rodrigues1; Cecilia Hageman, PhD, LL.B, LL.M1; Valerie Blackmore, MSc2. Validation of Grimley Kinship Calculator. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 2President, Wyndham Forensic Group, Inc. 
    • Raven Schuett1; Cecilia Hageman, PhD, LL.B, LL.M1. Introducing Probabilistic Genotyping into a Forensic Science Undergraduate Program. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Brandon Ypma1; Andrew Groves Det/Cst2. Investigation of Document Alteration and Gunshot Residue Detection Using Reflective Ultraviolet and Infrared Photography Techniques. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 2Forensic Identification Unit, Durham Region Police Service  
    2017 Forensic Science Graduating Class Group Photo

    2017 graduating class 

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  • 8th-annual Forensic Science Research Day - 2016

    Students looking into a microscope.

    Directed Studies

    • Allison Campbell1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. Fingerprint Dating as Evidence in the Court of Law. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Oluwatosin Kuponiyi1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1.  A Summary and Comparison of the Effects of Ketamine on the Development of Insects (Diptera: Calliphoridae). 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Jesse Mcdonald1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. Canine Scavenging and the Effect of Grave Depth. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Neruson Murugesamoorthy1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. A Comparison of Software Used for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Jasmine Sinitoski1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. Forensic and Legal Significance of DNA in Fingernail Samples. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Haille Thompson1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. The Role of DNA Analysis in Wrongful Convictions. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Lindsey Weese1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. A Literature Review of Fraudulent Passport Examination.rensic Science in Canada: An Overview. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Fathima Usama1; Nelson M. Lafrenière, PhD1. A Comparative Review of Commonly Used Presumptive Blood Tests. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    Thesis Project

    • Tayler Andonovski1; Michael Corbett, PhD, LL.M.2. Investigation of Sample Requirements of Selected Breath Alcohol Test Devices and Instruments. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 2Chemical Review Services, Inc. 
    • Heather Burgess1; Stacey Sainte-Marie, MSc1; Kimberly Nugent, MSc1. A Comparison of Protocols to Optimize DNA Yield from Fetal and Adult Skeletal Sus scrofa Remains. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    • Philip Chieu1; Eleanor McAnsh2. Validation of Fluorescence Microspectrophotometry for the Discrimination of Textile Fibres. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2Centre of Forensic Sciences.
    • Mohannad Hassan1; Det. Jim Aquin2; Lieah Crust2. The Use of Ultra-Violet and Infra-Red Light in the Examination of Forensic Evidence using DSLR Photography. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 2Forensic Identification Unit, Durham Region Police Service 
    • Michael Kuczuk1; Barbara Reid2; Diana Polley, MSc2. Evaluation of the procedure for mRNA profiling utilizing HRM analysis. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2Biology Section, Centre of Forensic Sciences.
    • Daniyel Pelletier1; Ismail Gultepe, PhD2; Sean Bohun, PhD1; Hélène LeBlanc, PhD1. The Investigation of Temperature Data at Different Elevations for Use in Criminal Investigation. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 2Environment Canada
    • Shirley Thang1; Cecilia Hageman, PhD, LL.B, LL.M1. The Assessment of the Presence of Saliva in Public Places. 1Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
    2016 Forensic Science Graduating Class Group Photo

    2016 graduating class 

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