Overview

    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 biological aspects of forensic science. In particular we examine the details of DNA typing and how this is done. In addition to the technical aspects of this work, attention is paid to the limitations of the technique and to good procedure in its use. Other topics include tracing biological products and the role that mass isotopes play in this process. We also examine the forensic biology of sight and vision and discuss how what we see may differ from what is actually present. The final section of the paper examines new techniques and ethical and ideological issues that are associated with forensic analyses of biological samples.

    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 ) $1,141.35
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Prerequisite
    FORS 201
    Recommended Preparation
    GENE 222
    Schedule C
    Science
    Eligibility
    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.
    Contact
    biochem300.tf@otago.ac.nz
    Teaching staff
    Associate Professor Craig Marshall
    Textbooks

    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

    Timetable

    Semester 2

    Location
    Dunedin
    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
    Blackboard

    Lecture

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend
    C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 29-34, 36-41
    AND
    D1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
    AND
    E1 Friday 09:00-09:50 29-34, 36-41

    Practical

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 30-34, 36-40

    Overview

    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 Tuition Fees for 2024 have not yet been set
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Prerequisite
    FORS 201
    Recommended Preparation
    GENE 222
    Schedule C
    Science
    Eligibility

    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. 

    Contact

    Dr Charlotte King
    Ph: 09 479 3401
    Email: charlotte.king@otago.ac.nz

    Teaching staff

    Dr Charlotte King

    Textbooks

    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

    Timetable

    Semester 2

    Location
    Dunedin
    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
    Blackboard

    Lecture

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

    Practical

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