POSITION: Assistant Professor, Tenure Stream
ACADEMIC UNIT: Anthropology
PLACE OF BIRTH: Belleville, ON
JOINED UTM FACULTY: 2018
“Young forensic scientists have the opportunity to shape the future of the field, and it’s important to use my intellectual abilities to make a difference.”
After earning her master’s degree, Nicole Novroski’s career turned into a scenario straight from a script of the TV series, CSI. She was hired as a forensic scientist for New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner in the Department of Forensic Biology, handling evidence from the police department’s criminal and missing persons cases. “It was a surreal experience, being a small town girl,” says Novroski, an assistant professor of forensic biology. “It was a big turning point in my life because I realized I had the ability to do anything I wanted with my career.”
Fortunately, her career goal – to work in academia as a teacher, researcher and in service to her profession – arrived sooner than expected. She finished her PhD in July 2018, and began her position at UTM the following month.
“I thought I would be in the U.S. for the majority of my career, but this was such an exceptional job opportunity. In today’s job market, I would have been extremely foolish not to pursue it,” Novroski says. “Now, I can teach, grow as a researcher and make a difference in the forensic science community. I think I have a lot to offer.”
She has dived into her new career enthusiastically, building collaborations with Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and the RCMP, and establishing a dynamic research team.
“I’m passionate about DNA mixtures,” she says. “My research focuses on using advanced chemistries and advanced technologies to better distinguish between individuals who are contributing to a DNA mixture. I can better understand component contributors within DNA mixtures using a technology called massively parallel sequencing that allows you to sequence the exact nucleotides of each DNA strand in a mixture to more specifically identify each person.”
“Research,” she notes, “is why I took this position. Young forensic scientists have the opportunity to shape the future of the field, and it’s important to use my intellectual abilities to make a difference. I am excited about building a team from the ground up to make an impact, and the potential ability to encourage students down the forensic science path makes me feel like a successful educator.”
1. Wendt, F.R., Novroski, N.M.M. (2019). Identity informative SNP associations in the UK Biobank. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 42: 45-48.
2. Novroski, N.M.M., Wendt, F.R., Woerner, A.E., Bus, M.M., Coble, M.D., Budowle, B. (2018).
Expanding beyond the current core STR loci: An exploration of 73 STR markers with increased diversity
for enhanced DNA mixture deconvolution. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 38: 121-129.
3. Novroski, N.M.M., Woerner, A.E., Budowle, B. (2018). Potential highly polymorphic short tandem
repeat markers for enhanced forensic identity testing. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 37: 162-