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Forensic phenomics – An applied approach to fingerprint profiling for intelligence-led investigations

Cottnam, Georgia Blaize (2021) Forensic phenomics – An applied approach to fingerprint profiling for intelligence-led investigations. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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The identification of criminal offenders remains the foremost significant aspect of forensic investigation. Consequently, the development of new techniques and refinement of established methodologies which allow for the identification of an individual have become increasingly important. In particular, active investigations that have released their crime scenes—as well as unsolved cold cases—do not typically afford investigators the opportunity to gather additional evidence after the initial forensic examination. Therefore, offering forensic experts’ novel tools by which to examine previously collected evidence—which, in turn, aids in determining the evidential facts of a case—should be seen as a valuable and worthwhile effort. To that end, this study examined the application of Flow Injection Analysis Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FIA-FTICR-MS), and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI-FTICR-MSI), to fingerprint residue samples. The suitability of both techniques for the identification of fingerprint residue compounds was demonstrated, and the high-throughput capabilities of FIA-FTICR-MS emphasised for the rapid derivation of forensic intelligence opportunities. This study demonstrated the potential application of mass spectrometry for the identification of an individuals’ sex, as well as the detection of a variety of contaminant molecules which may be capable of indicating a persons’ actions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Supervisor(s): Chapman, Brendan, Boughton, Berin and Kimhofer, Torben
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