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The Life of a Forensic Odontologist

In this Forensic Summer School public lecture, Associate Professor Denice Higgins, from the University of Adelaide, will give an overview of her journey as a forensic dentist in South Australia. She will explain her role in human identification in mass disasters, including the Victorian bushfires and the crash of MH17, and discuss her experience in some interesting forensic case studies.

Hosted by the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago in conjunction with the Ōtepoti Dunedin Branch of the Australian New Zealand Forensic Science Society.

About Associate Professor Denice Higgins

Associate Professor Denice Higgins has been a practicing dentist for 30 years, is a specialist forensic odontologist and is the Director of Forensic Odontology at the University of Adelaide. She has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology and a PhD in Forensic Biology.

Denice provides forensic odontology services to the Australian Government and policing agencies, and has testified in Australian courts of law; she has provided odontology identification services for the South Australian coroner for over sixteen years.

Currently, Denice directs the Forensic Odontology unit, coordinates the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology, and supervises scientific research students and projects. As an educator and researcher, Denice has published numerous chapters in textbooks and scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. She is the chair of the Medical Sciences Scientific Advisory Group (NIFS) and the president of both the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology (AuSFO) and the South Australian branch of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society.

Denice joined the RAAF Reserve in May 2020 as a specialist dental officer and began working with Unrecovered War Causalities Army (UWC – A) and Historic Unrecovered War Casualties – Airforce (HUWC – A) in 2021. She played an active role in the Disaster Victim Identification process following the Victorian bushfires and the crash of MH17, for which she was awarded a Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and an AFP Operations Medal. In 2022, she was awarded a group commendation for her involvement in the DNA identification of the HMAS Sydney unknown sailor by the chief of the Royal Australian Navy.

Streaming information

This Forensic Summer School public lecture will be livestreamed from 5:30pm, 18 January 2023 at the following web address:

Streaming link for Associate Professor Denice Higgins' public lecture

Date Wednesday, 18 January 2023
Time 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Audience Public,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni,Allied health professionals
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Lecture
CampusDunedin
LocationSt David Lecture Theatre, Dunedin campus
CostFree
Contact NameCarol Giraldo
Contact Emaildental.undergraduate@otago.ac.nz

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