The Forensic Science Initiative is a collaborative effort between ASU scientists and community partners who are committed to extend the boundaries of current forensic science practice through innovative research approaches designed to address contemporary and future needs of people, governments, and private industries. Although our research programs are distributed across many academic units we are unified by the shared recognition that humans act as both causal agents and recipients of behaviors that impact the smooth functioning of societies’ public institutions including the criminal and civil judicial system, private healthcare industries, and national and international commerce.
|Dr. Erika Camacho conducts research at the interface of mathematical applications to biology and sociology. Some of her projects include mathematically modeling the transcription network in yeast, the interactions of photoreceptors, social networks, and fungal resistance under selective pressure. She has received various awards including a Citation from the U.S. National Security Agency for her excellent work in mentoring and guiding undergraduate research. She is a Ford Fellow, Sloan Fellow, and a Mellon Mays Fellow.|
|Dr. Lara Ferry is a Professor with expertise in physiology, biomechanics and Ichthyology. Her research focuses on the evolution of jaws and their function in the aquatic realm.|
|Dr. Gwyneth Gordon is a Research Scientist in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Gwyneth’s expertise includes applying analytical chemistry to forensics, with a particular focus on isotope analysis. She has been validating the use of isotopes to predict the region of origin for human remains. She has also been a volunteer Crime Scene Specialist with the Mesa Police Department for more than six years, providing unique crossover insights between academia and practitioners.|
|Mr. Kim Jones (School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences) is the Director of Cybersecurity Education Consortium and is a 29-year intelligence, security, and risk management professional with progressive experience in all facets of information security. He holds the CISM and CISSP certifications.|
|Dr. Sreetharan Kanthaswamy’s (School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences) expertise is in population, forensic and conservation genetics. Dr Kanthaswamy’s forensic science research is based on the analyses of biological samples collected at crime scenes or from civil cases for DNA-typing. His research aims to establish species-specific genetic markers for accurate identification and to enhance the population genetics database for each species. Besides providing educational and research opportunities for students in his laboratory, Dr Kanthaswamy also provides expert witness testimony on animal/veterinary forensic DNA analysis and casework review.|
|Ms. Kimberly Kobojek (School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences) formerly a forensic scientist with the City of Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory is interested in drug identification, toxicology and forensic biology. Professor Kobojek is Director of the undergraduate degree program in Forensic Sciences.|
|Dr. Tess M.S. Neal (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) is both a researcher and a licensed psychologist. Her research interests focus on human inference and decision making, especially by experts. Dr. Neal studies these basic science questions in applied settings (e.g., the legal system, the scientific enterprise, healthcare and mental health systems, government) with the twin goals of discovering new understandings about how humans make decisions while also making concrete contributions to the “real world” so that clinicians, judges, lawyers, scientists, policymakers, and others can harness psychological science to make better use of information.|
|Dr. Jessica Salerno (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) expertise includes emotion, forensic and correctional psychology, jury decision making, social psychology and the law, moral psychology, and legal decision making. Dr. Salerno’s research interests include several lines of inquiry that apply social psychological theory to legal contexts. For example, she investigates (a) the effect of emotion and intergroup dynamics in legal decision making, (b) how moral outrage drives biases against stigmatized groups in ambiguous legal contexts, and (c) how jurors evaluate the quality of scientific evidence presented by expert witnesses in court. She also explores how these decision-making processes might differ for individuals versus groups.|
Dr. Nick Schweitzer’s (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) research focuses on the empirical study of the law and legal system, with a primary emphasis on how science (medical experiments, forensic science, neuroscience, etc) is used by the judicial system.
Dr. Schweitzer is Director and a founding member of the ASU Program on Law and Behavioral Science, a faculty fellow in the Center for Law, Science, and Innovation at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, a Fellow of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and an affiliated faculty member in ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society.