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    Forensic applications of biological information, particularly DNA, and its integration with other biological evidence. Emphasis on the practical rigour required for such analyses, and estimation of error and uncertainty in forensic data, and the statistical interpretation of such data.

    This paper focuses on the forensic application of biological and chemical techniques. In particular we examine the details of DNA typing in both humans and animals, chemical provenancing of people and products, the identification of drugs and drug use, skeletal analysis and postmortem processes. In addition to the technical aspects of this work, attention is paid to the limitations of the techniques, the statistical analysis of data, and the reporting of uncertainty. The final part of this paper focuses on the role of the forensic scientist in legal contexts, and how forensic evidence is presented in court. 

    About this paper

    Paper title Analytical Forensic Biology
    Subject Forensic Analytical Science
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    FORS 201
    Recommended Preparation
    GENE 222
    Schedule C

    This paper is required for BAppSc Forensic majors. Other students with an interest in forensic analysis would also find this paper useful, and it complements courses in biological and chemical sciences, genetics and disciplines such as law. 


    Dr Charlotte King
    Ph: 09 479 3401

    Teaching staff

    Dr Charlotte King


    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Articulate a broad understanding of contemporary biological and molecular life sciences, particularly as they relate to forensic science
    • Appropriately communicate forensic concepts to both specialist and general audiences
    • Identify and critically evaluate relevant information
    • Work effectively both independently and as part of a team


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 29-35, 37-42
    D1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 29-35, 37-42
    E1 Friday 09:00-09:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 29-35, 37-42
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