Forensic Science Research Lab


Forensic Science Research Lab


The Forensic Science research lab is designed to conduct research and generate products that will aid forensic scientists in their ability to perform their work quicker and with increased scientific accuracy. This program utilizes multiple projects that help the group to complete this mission while allowing students to gain practical hands-on experience using various forensic techniques. Students will also continue to hone their oral and written communications skills at a scientific level, with the possibility of publishing in scientific journals and presenting at conferences. While each project will have its own principal investigator, all projects will work with mutual support and shared resources.


  • Fingerprint Minutiae Statistical Analysis—The aim of this project is to determine the frequency in which various fingerprint ridge characteristics are found within different areas of fingerprints. This will enable latent print analysts to place a statistical value on fingerprint uniqueness. We will also determine the frequency with which sub-classes of fingerprint types are present within the population.


  • Arizona Outsole Database—This ongoing project will develop and maintain a database of shoe outsoles that will help examiners identify the make and model of a shoe quickly and easily. Currently examiners must use an internet search to identify a shoe, and this database would fill this gap by making this process quicker. The resulting investigative leads will allow cases to move forward faster.



  • DNA Recovery from Firearm Barrels after Discharge— Blood drops as a result of blowback are sometimes found within a firearm barrel after the firearm is discharged at a close distance to the victim. With multiple discharges, the blood is subjected to heat and friction that has the potential to denature and mechanically sheer the DNA. Determining if a DNA profile is recoverable will demonstrate this evidence is probative in nature and therefore can serve as another way to connect the victim to the firearm.

Affiliated Investigators: Click on investigators name to read bio

Melissa Beddow                            [email protected]

Leah Webb                                     [email protected]

Scott Rex                                         [email protected] 

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