Forensic Science News & Updates

Anthropology

Breaking the binary: The identification of trans-women in forensic anthropology

Jenna Schall

Skull

In the cases of transgender and gender non-conforming people, a description of their physical remains, including biological sex, may have little correlation with their social identity, delaying and often confusing the issue of identification. Some transgender individuals have sought to alter their physical appearance in order to better reflect their gender.

Jenna Schall, a UofT Master of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology (specialising in Forensic Anthropology), has just published an article in Forensic Science International, detailing her major research project in the identification of facial feminization surgery (FFS), which involves the reduction and contour of the forehead, chin and jaw, and rhinoplasty to give trans-women smoother, smaller facial features.

The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of FFS on measurement-based methods of cranial sex assessment, such as discriminant function analysis, with the ultimate goal of developing guidelines for correctly recognizing and supporting the identification of trans-women. 

The Forensic Science Program is incredibly proud to have one of our students working on bringing such an important and relevant topic into the forefront of human identification. Read Jenna's article online here.

3D Digital

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s agonizing drug addiction

 

EugeneKaren Woodall

In an interview with Maclean’s, our very own assistant professors in forensic chemistry and toxicology, Dr. Vivienne Luk (above left) and Dr. Karen Woodall (below left), shed light on the agonizing drug addiction of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables novels.

Montgomery was a heavy consumer of barbiturates and bromides, prescribed by doctors for anxiety, nerves and insomnia.


Read more on our professors' perspectives on how the disastrous extent of the author’s addiction to prescription drugs parallels our modern-day opioid crisis here.

 

General

Forensic Program Major/Specialist Application Information Session

On Thursday, March 5th 2020, there will be an information session for all first year students planning to advance to their second year of the Forensic Science Program, in CC1080, from 4:00-5:00pm

The session, hosted by IVNVI, will be presented by Teresa Cabral, going more in-depth about the application process and answering any questions applicants may have about the degree and subject POSts.

The application link can be found on our website here.

 

3D Digital

FSC Outreach Program featured on the UTM News!

Forensic files: youth learn what it really takes to help solve a crime

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 11:11am
Patricia Lonergan

A student dusts for fingerprints while her fellow forensic scientist-in-training patiently waits to collect it as evidence during a high school visit to U of T Mississauga’s forensic science department.

A missing pet, a fist fight or even a murder. These are some of the cases elementary and high school students try to solve when they visit U of T Mississauga’s crime scene house.

Each year the forensic department hosts high school field trips, runs summer camps and heads out into the community to share their love of science.

The department hosts a variety of outreach and engagement initiatives, with Camp UTM and high school visits being the two main programs, according to Murray Clayton, program and outreach officer for forensic science...

Click here to read the full article.  

3D Digital

FSC Publication: Observations and 3D Analysis of Controlled Cast-Off Stains

Left to Right: UTM FSC Instructor Eugene Liscio (ai2-3D Forensics, Founder) ; Ph.D. Candidate Patrick Bozek, UTM FSC Alumna and Instructor Helen Guryn (ai2-3D Forensics, Technologist), UTM FSC Alumnus and Internship Supervisor Quan Le (ai2-3D Forensics, Technologist).

A new paper has been published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, by ai2-3D Forensics, which also happens to be a team of our UTM Forensic Science researchers. This article proposes a new method of analyzing cast-off stains unsing 3D analysis.

From the article's abstract:

Cast-off stains are common patterns found at crime scenes involving blood shedding events. However, the analysis and interpretation of cast-off patterns remains an area lacking tools for crime scene investigators. Analyzing cast-off patterns may allow investigators to interpret the area from where an object may have been swung and thus determine the approximate location of a suspect or victim. This study looked at the position and distribution of cast-off patterns and area of origin as a starting point for the development of a method to analyze cast-off patterns...The observations and analysis from this study were seen to be predictable and repeatable and may provide a possible new method for investigators to interpret cast-off stains.


Screen capture from FARO Zone 3D showing results from the “Castanova” rig. Bloodstain trajectories shown in red coming from the wall to the left (x-axis wall). Image from Liscio et al., 2020

doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.14301
Available online at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com


 

General

Important Update: MANDATORY FSC Internship 2020-2021 Meeting

This is an important message for all potential 2020-2021 FSC Internship Students in which the FSC Internship course (FSC481Y5 / (FSC482H5 & FSC483H5) is required for program completeness.

Please be advised that the 2020-2021 FSC Internship Information Session has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 5th at 4:00 pm (4:10 pm) in DV3093.  Please note that attendance at this meeting is MANDATORY for all students planning to enroll and apply for an internship placement for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.  Should you have a conflict and are unable to attend, please notify Teresa Cabral by email as soon as possible, including the reason for your absence. 

 

General

Tickets now on sale for TEDˣUTSC

If you missed this month's Brown Bag talk, or would simply like a chance to attend a TEDx conference in real life, come see Program Officer Murray Clayton, Saturday, February 1st at the U of T Scarborough campus!

Tickets can be purchased online for there conference at http://www.tedxutsc.com/

TedX

Murray's talk, titled, An Ethical Toolkit for the Working Professional, focuses on transferred experiences and lessons learned from forensic science, which aims to assist individuals, and guide confidence, in ethical decision making.

General

Internship Evidence Preparation at the Ontario Police College

On January 15th, several staff and students observed a controlled vehicle combustion at the Ontario Police College (OPC) under the supervision of the Alymer Fire Marshall.

The fire was in aid of the FSC481 Internship research of fourth year Forensic Anthropology specialist Marie-Catherine Viau, who will be observing animal scavenging trends and accessibility in vehicles throughout the winter, under the supervision of Det. Cst. Wade Knaap.

OPC Fire

Above: Marie-Catherine with Det. Cst. Knaap, as the vehicle begins to ignite with no more than a lighter and a bag of plain Lays potato chips! IVNVI Forensic Society Vice President Nathaniel Paquet and President Anjalika Balasuriya pose in front of white-hot science.

Biology

Testing FBI-endorsed forensic DNA kit in Canada's genetic melting pot

Forensic Biology professor Dr. Novroski, and fourth year forensic biology student Rachel Shadoff, are making headlines with their internship research that studies the accuracy of a forensic DNA kit in predicting an individual's hair and eye colour.

What makes this study novel is that the researchers are testing the commercially-prepared kit on a population of individuals of mixed ancestry.

Read the article featured on the VP-Research website here

Photo of UTM forensic scientists Nicole Novroski and Rachel Shadoff
 
This research would not be possible without the contributions of volunteer samples. If you're interested in advancing science, please see the call out for sample collection below!
 
Mixed DNA volunteer recruitment poster. Email utmdnastudy@gmail.com

Cookie

Campus will be closed December 21, 2019 - January 6, 2020

Happy Holidays!

 

3D Digital

FARO Zone 3D Area of Origin Tools with Handheld 3D Data

Quan Le

Eugene

Forensic Science Program Alum Quan Le, and FSC Professor Eugene Liscio, have just published a validation paper for the Association of Crime Scene Reconstruction (ACSR) Journal that shows you don't need a laser scanner with FARO Zone 3d to do a bloodstain area-of-origin analysis. 

This study investigated the use of alternate, low-cost 3D technologies for bloodstain pattern analysis. The study found the errors associated with both technologies to be not statistically different from one another and were within the literature standard for analysis.

Says professor Liscio of the results, "I have always been a fan of hardware and software that “plays nice” with different technologies". 

You can read the entire article online for free at the ACSR website, or access the PDF directly here: 

FARO Zone 3D Area of Origin Tools with Handheld 3D Data

Anthropology

Young Anthropology featuring Forensic Science Alumna

Young AnthropologySukarmina S.S.

The inaugural issue of Young Anthropology, the peer-reviewed undergraduate Anthropology journal, is now published! The journal features articles, interviews, and reflection pieces.

This issue specifically features one of our very own alumni, Sukarmina Singh Shankar, titled The Benefit of Autopsies in Suspected Drug Overdose Cases, as seen in Nova Scotia, Canada. This article is based on Sukarmina's internship research project with the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.

A sincere thanks goes out to everyone who contributed time and effort to this publication!

As a partner of the Anthropology Department, the Forensic Science Program wants to encourage students to submit articles, interviews, book reports, field reports and reflections in 2020. The deadline for submissions for the next issue will be May 31, 2020, but students can submit their pieces at any time.

You can find the journal under the Undergraduate tab of the anthropology departmental website, as well as the link below to the Young Anthropology journal page, where you can view the complete issue as a PDF file:

https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/ya/index.

3D Digital

Certification Opportunity - Basic FARO Zone 3D Course

Liscio

FARO

The Forensic Science Program's very own Professor Liscio is offering a 3 day basic class in FARO Zone 3D that will cover all you will need to know to create court ready drawings and analysis. Topics will focus on working with point cloud data, symbol library, adding dimensions, simple animations, and 3D modeling.

Course Objectives: This course is designed to introduce participants to the FARO Zone 3D (FZ3D) software package. FZ3D is FARO’s newest software designed for forensic professionals. This course will cover basic 2D and 3D mapping and modeling of crime scenes, the creation of simple animations as well as the utilization of point cloud data in the creation of simple deliverables and reconstructions.

Date and Location: February 10th – 12th, 2020

Novotel – 200 Bass Pro Mills Drive
Concord, ON, Canada, L4K 0B9

Time: 8am-4pm (24 hours)      Cost:  $ 550.00 USD

Prerequisites: Since this is an introductory course, participants are assumed to have no familiarity with the FARO Zone 3D software.  However, previous experience with total station operation, laser scanner operation and FARO Scene software is beneficial.  Previous experience utilizing other 3D Mapping software is also helpful, but not required.

Exam: There is no formal exam for this course. However, participants will be required to complete and hand in a variety of daily class exercises.

Certificate: Participants who successfully complete the course and all assigned exercises will be provided a course certificate.

Requirements: Laptop PC is required to run FARO Zone 3D. A limited supply of laptops will be available for some participants who do not own a PC. Available on a first come first serve basis. Please send us an email to reserve a PC at information@ai2-3d.com

Visit https://www.ai2-3d.com/faro-zone-3d-toronto to register. 

FSC

Newly revamped exam website!

Student wearing a U of T sweater writing an examStudent completing the exam bookletSmiling student sitting outside on a picnic bench

Exams are just around the corner!

For your convenience, the Examinations Website has gotten a major overhaul to make it easier for you to navigate to important information.

Visit https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/registrar/current-students/exams to find a sleek new look, and you'll be sure to find the answer to all your exam-related questions here. 

You can find everything ranging from the exam period dates and schedule, to the Code of Conduct, from missing exams, to exam re-reads, from exam supports, to external exams.  Most questions you may have should be available on this site.  In particular, please take note of the Code of Conduct page, to make sure you are not finding yourselves in any misconduct, the consequence of which may result in your failure of an exam!

If you find yourself with questions about exams that aren't answered on the site, please contact the Office of the Registrar.  

Psychology

Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday's Research

Rasmus Larsen

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen recently published an article in The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal entitled: "Psychopathy Treatment and The Stigma of Yesterday's Research". The editor Sandra L. Borden describes this contribution as challenging "the conventional wisdom of the medical establishment".

In his article, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen documents how psychopathy assessments are used to discriminate people from treatment and rehabilitation efforts, a medically erroneous practice allegedly rooted in a history of misleading research. Instead, he points to research suggesting that so-called psychopaths can gain from treatment/rehabilitation programs with similar success rates compared to non-psychopathic offenders. 

Larsen, R. R. (2019). Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday’s Research. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29(3), 243-272.

This article also figured as a chapter in a recent book publication by Routledge, "Ethics and Errors in Medicine": Larsen, R. R. (2019). “Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday’s Research”. In Allhoff, F. and Borden, S. (eds.), Ethics and Error in Medicine. New York: Routledge. (Posted November 15, 2019)

FSC Program

Forensic Faculty & Staff Awarded for their Excellence

Wade Knaap

Teresa Cabral

Two of our very own FSC Program members were recognized this month for their amazing work and dedication to making this university one of the best in the country.

Detective Constable (Retired) Wade Knaap was selected as the recipient of the UTM Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding teaching by a sessional instructor.

Ms. Teresa Cabral was selected as the recipient of the Karen Thiffault Staff Service Excellence Award. This award recognizes her service to the life of the campus in ways that go far beyond job parameters.

For any student, staff and faculty member in FSC (and many outside of the program), we are well aware how these two members of our team help shape the success of our program and the success of our students.

Thanks to you both for all your accomplishments, achievements, and dedication! Congratulations!

 

Psychology

Revisiting ‘The Psychopath Test’: New research gives diagnosis a failing grade

Rasmus Larsen

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen was interviewed for a UTM News feature, discussing new research from the university proposing that it's time to reconsider what we think we know about the psychopathic condition.

You can read the full article on the UTM News page.

Canine

Canine Unit visits UTM Forensic Science for a demonstration

K91

Officer Jay Silverberg (bottom left), Officer Derrick Gaudet joined by his canine partner Major, (bottom centre), and Officer Jon Nowak (bottom right) pose with our forensic students.  

On Monday, November 4th, the Canine Units of Peel, Durham, York and Toronto stopped by the CSI house for a visit, and a demonstration of the remarkable capabilities of their animals.

We are incredibly grateful to have seen Canine officers Major, Otto and Max at work. Even with a basic understanding of their methods, it is really something stunning to see how they operate in person! The dogs expertly located pre-hidden items in the field and forest surrounding the CSI house, including bone fragments, blood drops, and less than 200ml of soil stained with human decomposition fluid!

K92

Above (L-R): Major, awaiting his next command from Officer Gaudet; Officers SIlverberg and Nowak and their partner Otto, enjoying a reward for some good work; Otto demonstrating the "indication" stance: when remains are located, the dogs will sit still waiting for their partner's confirmation. The dogs are trained not to touch or pick up the items, so that all original context may be preserved.

 

3D Digital

Internship Feature: Determining the Suitability of 3D Laser Scanning for Forensic Footwear 

Liscio

JCIS

Footwear evidence is still highly valuable, and with the availability of 3D scanners capturing at high resolutions, there are some new approaches to how we interpret this kind of evidence.

FSC481 Internship student Charmaine Rodrigues recently published an article in Identification Canada (Journal for the Canadian Identification Society, Issue 42, No 1., March 2019), about how she and FSC406 instructor Eugene Liscio used a FARO Scan Arm to capture footwear impressions and subsequently analyze them in CloudCompare.

Instructor Liscio is a 3D forensic analyst, and the founder of AI2-3D. This research raised a lot of issues about how investigators treat this kind of data, problems encountered and ideas moving forward.

Feet
 

 

Psychology

Thinking of Graduate Studies? Consider a Master of Social Work

CN

Attend the MSW Information Session at UofT’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work to learn more about

  • 2 Year Master of Social Work Program: for prospective students who do not have a Bachelor of Social Work Degree  
  • MSW with Advanced Standing (one year): For prospective students who have or are working towards a Bachelor of Social Work Degree
  • MSW in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency (2 Years, fulltime, hybrid model)

Learn more: https://socialwork.utoronto.ca/admissions/information-sessions/

MSW Program Booklet: https://socialwork.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/MSW-2020-Program-Booklet.pdf

MSW ITR: https://socialwork.utoronto.ca/admissions/msw-itr/

Wondering what Social Workers do? Listen to the Podcast, Profiles in Social Work: https://socialwork.utoronto.ca/alumni/profiles/  

If you have any questions about the programs please contact valerie.groysman@utoronto.ca

Biology

CBC Feature: Forensic Genealogy - A Cold Case Revolution

Novroski

All over the world cold case murders, sexual assaults, and unidentified person cases once thought unsolvable are being cracked thanks to the proliferation of retail DNA kits and public genetic databases.

UTM's own Dr. Novroski explains how this is all possible to the CBC. Watch her podcast feature on the CBC Youtube page here.

Nicole DNA

Psychology

Buyer Beware: How to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Article

Incidents of fraud in Canada are up nearly 20 percent from 2017. While there is no one profile for scammers, experts say people can protect themselves by doing research, rejecting too-good-to-be-true opportunities, and reporting if they are victimized.

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen was recently interviewed by the Etobicoke Guardian for his perspective on con artists, and the complexities of trying to create an appropriate psychological profile. 

You can read the full article here. 

 

Ident

Did you spot us at the Ontario Universities Fair?

OUF 1

The Ontario Universities Fair draws more than 130 000 students, parents and educators over three days. We scanned over 120 000 students JUST at the U of T booth!

Did you manage to catch us to answer all your questions? The Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF) began in 1997 as a way to help high school students gather information about Ontario’s universities.

Representatives from the Forensic Science Program were present on all three days, giving high school students an opportunity to talk to us about our specialist programs and campus life. We were a popular stop for a lot of budding scientists! Each day, we had a representative that could speak to our anthropology, biology, chemistry and psychology forensic specialist programs. What a great and dedicated academic community!

OUF2

Above (L-R): Alida Trieu, Dr. Luk, Teresa Cabral, Murray Clayton representing FSC. Not pictured, but also in attendance: Nicole Chow, Dr. Woodall, Dhwani Shah, Evie Strickland, Esme Newling.

Ident

Forensic Outreach Program: Mensa visits UTM!

MENSA 2019

Above: The members of Mensa Toronto pose in the lobby of HSC. 46 members were in attendance, ready to engage in some active learning with the FSC Outreach volunteers. 

On Saturday, September 21st, members of the Mensa Toronto chapter visited the forensic science labs and CSI house at UTM, to learn about our discipline. Starting with forensic psychology and forensic biology workshops, they ended the day discovering how our students train in IDENT activities, including blood spatter analysis, fingerprinting, anthropology, and human remain search and recovery. 

Mensa is an intellectual think group, with members holding an IQ in the top 2 percentile of the population. Our undergraduate volunteers tackled some complex questions expertly, and provided great discussion and intelligent exchange with our guests. 

MENSA 2019

 

Chemistry

Student Feature: FSC481 Interns in M Magazine

Dr. Luk

Two of our best and brightest forensic science students, Sandy Wang and Jackie Han, were recently featured in the science journal M Magazine, for their internship research, in an article titled, "Rethinking Sobriety Testing: Does standard assessment fully capture one’s impairment level?"

The research was conducted with the assistance and supervision of our forensic chemist, Dr. Luk (left). Both students won funding from the UTM Experiential Education unit.

The article can be found here, on page 26.

 

Jackie Sandy

Left: Dr. Luk with her interns Sandy and Jackie. Top-right: Sandy administers a sobriety screening device on a participant during a control group test. Bottom-right: Jackie administers an eye-tracking test with a participant. 

 

Note takers wanted

 

Biology

Research Feature: Dr. Novroski

Novroski

This September, Dr. Novroski will be presenting at the 2019 International Symposium on Human Identification. Read all about her speaker feature Under the Microscope, in anticipation of her talk.

In addition, Dr. Novroski and colleague Frank Wendt have also recently published an article in Forensic Science International: Genetics:

Wendt, F.R., Novroski, N.M.M. (2019). Identity informative SNP associations in the UK Biobank. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 42:45-48. doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.06.007

Nicolenovroski.com

Dr. Novroski has also recently launched her biology laboratory website. Of special consideration is the opportunities page, for students who are interested in graduate work, undergraduate research, study participation. Visit the website for more information. 

Ident

Forensic Identification Field School 2019  

Ident 2019

Students in the Forensic Identification Field School spend two intense weeks learning and implementing investigation field techniques, which include fingerprinting cadaver tissue (as seen above).

In this activity, students are 'suited up' in their tyvek gear, and each recieve a piglet for processing*.  

The students above are learning how to lift fingerprints from a cadaver, using the pigs as an analog. First they need to shave the pigs, to be able to deposit fingerprints directly on the skin without interference from their hair. They then use chemical reagents to develop fingerprints on skin that were deposited in blood: Hungarian Red, Amido Black and the Leucocrystal Violet reactions.

*Note: UTM's commitment to ethical research includes animal samples. The piglets in this activity are still born, and thus none are euthanized for our purposes. Special thanks to lab tech Agata Gapinska-Serwin for the photos, and the above information!

Ident 2019

 

Psychology

Publication Feature: Dr. Rosenberg-Larsen

Rasmus Larsen

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and colleague, Dr. David Sackris (Arapahoe Community College), recently published an article in The Journal of Value Inquiry critiquing a well-known philosophical theory that defines "aesthetic experience". David Sackris & Larsen, R. R. (2019). A Consideration of Carroll's Content Theory. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 1-13. doi.org/10.1007/s10790-019-09693-6

In addition, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and colleague, Dr. Janna Hastings (University College London), recently presented a research project they have been working on for the past year at various conferences in Europe. In this work they propose a novel method to expand, standardize, and bring semantic coherence to the terminology used to describe symptoms in psychiatric diagnostics; a recurring problem in the attempt to facilitate accurate and reliable data annotation, as well as interdisciplinary research integration in mental health research. The project is titled: "Mapping the Patient's Experience: An Applied Ontological Framework for Phenomenological Psychopathology".

  • 25-27 April: Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP) 2019 annual meeting, University of Copenhagen.
  • 4-6 June: San Raffaele Spring School of Philosophy 2019 (SRSSP 2019), San Raffaele University.
  • 14-16 June: Swedish Congress of Philosophy (Filosofidagarna), University of Umeå.
 

 

Ident

Pink Shirt Day 2019 - Forensic Science & Anthropology supporting breast cancer research & awareness at UTM 

Pink Shirt Day

Left: FSC academic advisor Teresa Cabral strikes a pose. Right: Anthro/Forensic admin (L-R) Angela Sidoriak (Undergraduate Administrator); Joanne Kao (Financial Officer); Carolyn Loos; (Department Manager); Joanna Trochanowski (Departmental Assistant) Below: The admin team with Murray Clayton (Program Officer).

On Friday, August 23rd 2019, the administration for the Forensic Science Program and the Anthropology Department came together to show their support for breast cancer awareness. 

UPCOMING RUN FOR THE CURE EVENTS

  • Tuesday, September 10 (lunch hour) – Ice Cream Day.
    The UTM Run for the Cure Organizing Team will be selling ice-cream desserts over the lunch hour as a fundraiser.
  • Tuesday, September 17th, 12 – 1:30 (one sitting) Pink Luncheon.
    Ticket sales will begin shortly for this annual event in partnership with the Faculty Club.
  • Tuesday, September 24th, 12-1 - Pink Walk. There is a a campus walk, in partnership with the RAWC Wellness Routes.
  • Sunday, October 6, 10 a.m. – Run for the Cure. UTM is proud to be the host site for the CIBC Run for the Cure in Mississauga!

Interested in joining the UTM Run Team? Please visit https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/faculty-staff/2019-run-cure. Note: if you raise $150 for the run as a UTM Team participant, you will receive a UTM Run shirt at the run.

Interested in contributing to the team in other ways? The annual silent auction will be held at the Pink Luncheon. Forensic Science/Anthropology will be putting together a gift basket of great items to bid on!

We will see you there!

PSD

 

Ident

Program alumna brings outreach skills to Youthlink Calgary 

Jocelyn CTV

Blink and you'll miss her, but FSc Program Alumna Jocelyn Huang has taken her experience from the UTM Forensic Outreach Program to the Youthlink Calgary Summer Program in this CTV News report.

Youthlink Calgary holds a forensic summer camp much like our very own Camp U of T! Teaching youth about the roles of police in their communities, they hold over 50 interactive displays for children to explore.

It only makes sense that as the 2018-2019 Forensic Outreach Pantology Award recipient, FSC alumna Jocelyn Huang has found a way to continue her outstanding commitment to community outreach, bringing the public into the world of forensic science.

Click here to watch the CTV News report, and check out the timestamps below to see Jocelyn in action!

7:15am at 1:21:05

7:42am at 1:42:08

8:11am at 2:05:28

8:46am at 2:32:29

The Youthlink Calgary Interpretive Centre offers police camps all year round, including for the summer, P.D. days, and school breaks! To find out more, check out their website here.

Jocelyn 2

 

Ident

Forensic Science represented at MED-YSP 2019 

MED_YSP 690

Forensic Chemistry specialist Wilson Chung (bottom left) with the 2019 MED-YSP team.

Each summer, the Medicine Youth Summer Program offers high school students an exclusive glimpse into the world of medicine and medical research by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. Students from across North America and around the world are invited to learn at Canada’s most prestigious medical school!

This summer, Forensic Chemistry specialist student Wilson Chung brought his own training and expertise as a facilitator for the academic module: Molecular Biology and Genetics: Applications in Forensics and Medicine. Through mock scenarios and staged investigations, the students learn about techniques and technologies through experiential education. Wilson's own experience as a specialist student and a Forensic Science Outreach Program volunteer certainly make him an ideal candidate to teach the scientists of tomorrow!

In true UTM Forensic fashion, authenticity was high on the priority list for Wilson, who reflects: 
"I feel like we could've used more blood, but we were using fake blood, which is oddly harder to clean up. It was also still a public space so we didn't want to go too crazy."

To learn more about the Medicine Youth Summer Program, and the academic modules offered for high school students, check out their website here.

 

Psychology

Fall 2019 Highlight: FSC220 Forensic Psychology

Psych

Forensic Psychology

This course provides an introductory overview of the many ways psychological research and theories (i.e. behavioural science) can deliver useful information in collecting and assessing evidence for criminal investigation, trial, and prevention. Topics may include: eyewitness testimony, deception, criminal profiling, false confession, mental illness, victim trauma, criminal responsibility, risk assessment, serial killing, hate crimes, sexual offending, prejudiced policing, and jury decision-making. The aim of this course is to give students general insight into the various applied specializations of forensic psychologists.

Prerequisites: PSY100Y5 or FSC239Y5

 

registration

 

FSc Icon

FSc Convocation 2019

Convogroup

Congratulations to our 2019 graduates of the Forensic Science Program! We are incredibly proud of all the hard work and effort that you've put into your four years here with us. We look forward to seeing what the future brings for each and every one of you!

For the full album of the day's events, visit the UTM Forensic Science Flickr Page Here.

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Biology

Fall 2019 Special Topics Course:
FSC350 Forensic Biology in the News

Coming up in the new academic year, our special topics course will be offering a new theme, taught by Dr. Novroski, in time for fall enrolment.

Novroski

Forensic Biology in the News

A lecture-based course examining contemporary topics in forensic biology. The course will emphasize group discussion where students will examine, review, criticize, and present on current trends and fundamental topics within forensic biology, which could include evidence screening and serology, DNA analysis methodology, forensic technological developments /enhancements as well as current ethical and/or political changes in the field. The implications and applications of forensic biology research advances will also be explored.

Prerequisite:  FSC239Y5, FSC271H5, BIO152H5 and BIO153. This course is intended to be inclusive for all forensic students, including those enrolled in the Minor program.

FSc Icon

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis 2019

BPA Certification

Forensic students, faculty, and alum pose with retired officer and course instructor Craig C. Moore (left) after completing their certification training in blood pattern analysis. 

In May, students, alumni, and faculty members Eugene Liscio and Helen Guyrn attended a week long certification in basic blood pattern analysis and recognition, hosted here at the University of Toronto Mississauga. 

Students executed their own experiements to identify stains, resuting in a fantastic opportunity for experiential education. Many thanks go to Craig Moore for an invaluable week of learning. 

BPA students

FSc Icon

IVNVI Forensics Gala 2019

Gala

L to R: Students of the FSc Program Allana Braga and Olivia Giaccobo (HBSc graduates), Tori Berezowski (MSc graduate) and Jenna Macrae (MSc student).

In March, IVNVI The Forensics Society hosted a gala evening for all members of the Forensics Program, their friends, and their loved ones. With special recognition for academic achievement and community engagement, this event celebrated all the hard work and successes of those involved in making the program such a success within and outside of the classroom. 

Undergrads, graduate students, faculty and staff were in attendance to enjoy being a part of this great program.

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Students in each specialist program were nominated by forensic program faculty members for an award in academic excellence. (L to R) Dr. Tracy Rogers (Anthropology), Dr Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen (Psychology), Dr. Nicole Novroski (Biology), Jesse Garcia (Biology), Paige Holmes (Psychology), Olivia Liu (Anthropology), Jackie Han (Chemistry) and Dr. Vivienne Luk (Chemistry)  
A full gallery of the IVNVI Forensics Society Gala can be found on their official facebook page 
 

 

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Internship Class of 2019 -  24th Annual Forensic Science Day 

FSC Day 2019

The 2019 graduating FSC481Y internship class, at the end of a successful Forensic Science Day. Far left: Dr. Tracy Rogers, course instructor and program director, and teaching assistant Vanessa Rossi).

A big congratulations to the 2018-2019 Internship FSC481Y class! On Saturday, April 6th, 31 forensic science specialist majors presented their year long research in their internship fields. Talks subjects ranged from submerged bodies in Lake Simcoe, to anemia in natural deaths, to transgender death investigations in Ontario, to provide only three of many examples.

The Forensic Science Program is incredibly proud of the hard work our specialist students have executed throughout the year, culminating in this annual event.

A special thanks to The Blind Duck for the fantastic lunch and reception, as well as the UTM Print & Copy Centre for their efforts in also making the day a success.

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(Left) Incoming internship student Kim Tran is introduced to a potential mentor by Internship Coordinator Teresa Cabral. (Right) 2019 Internship students Charlotte LeFévre, Amy Dylewska, Yoanna Mustilier and Marvimar Castroverde pose around the now iconic FSC Program banner. 
A full gallery of the 24th Annual Forensic Science Day can be found here. 

 

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Canadian Universities for Forensic Science hosted at UTM

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(Inset: The welcoming slide for C.U.F.F.S. 2019)

On Friday, April 5th, the student initiative led by Anthropology graduate students (and co-founders) Elisabeth Cuerrier-Richer and Melissa Bernard (L-R pictured below) culminated in the inaugural conference for the Canadian Universities for Forensic Science (C.U.F.F.S).

 

UTM was proud to host the conference, entitled "Promoting Collaboration", as speakers, delegates and guests from all over the country attended to offer discourse on collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches to forensic science. The Forensic Science Program's own professors Dr. Vivienne Luk and Wade Knaap held a fascinating talk on cross-course collaboration. The welcoming statement was given by UTM's own Principal, Ulrich Krull, and many of our students gave talks or poster presentations. Congratulations to all of our community members who contributed to this day's success!

With a sizeable turnout, interesting topics, and lots of great giveaways, this conference brought some of the best and brightest Canadian forensic minds together.

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(Inset: Retired Detective Constable Wade Knaap and Dr. Vivienne Luk discuss the importance of collaboration, as exemplified in their cross-course project, combining FSC311 - Forensic Chemistry and FSC407 Advanced Forensic Identification).
For a gallery of the day's events, follow this link. For more about C.U.F.F.S., be sure to check out their website or Facebook page.
 

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Forensic Science Program at the UTM March Open House

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(Inset: Forensic students Jocelyn Huang, Emma Smith, Esme Newling, Leanne Byrne, Alida Trieu).

On Sunday, March 31 2019, the Forensic Science Program helped welcome prospective students to our campus. We offered information presentations given by our academic advisor Teresa Cabral, one-on-one discussions with professors Dr. Luk and Dr. Novroski, and tours of the CSI house run by undergraduate volunteers. A big thank you to our team for helping the the best and brightest in high school with their biggest decision yet! 

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(Inset: Forensic students Evie Strickland and Nicole Chow answer questions, while Charlotte Le Fevre, Kevin Kim and Emma Tighe represent the IVNVI Forensic Society. Volunteers not shown: Tatiana Babolas, April Abit).
 

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Campus will be closed December 24, 2018 - January 4, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Biology

FSC350: Important technical issues regarding enrolment

For students currently enrolled in one or both of our FSC350 courses, please be aware of the following:

Students have been de-enrolled in order to be shifted to the new course number, slated to come online soon. At this point, you are de-enrolled but not enrolled in anything else. We are aware of this change.  The Registrar’s office is currently in the process of changing the course numbers for LEC0103 and LEC0104, which require students to be removed from FSC350. 

We expect everyone's enrolment in the correct courses to be resolved by January.  Thank you for your patience, and we apologise for any inconvenience.

Biology

The Varisty feature: UTM Expands Forensic Science Program

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(Inset: Hailey Chan and Juliette Belanger-Bienvenue ).

The forensic science program was featured in the University of Toronto's student newspaper, The Varsity. Check out their article detailing new upcoming courses, and interviews, here.

Psychology

Publication Feature: Professor Rosenberg-Larsen

The Forensic Science Program is proud to have been an open source sponser of Forensic Psychology professor Dr. Larsen's latest publication: False-Positives in Psychopathy Assessment: Proposing Theory-Driven Exclusion Criteria in Research Sampling. 

The method outlined in this paper is intended to be applied to psychology research sampling forensic science.

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Click the citation below to be taken to the article:

Larsen R. 2018. False-Positives in Psychopathy Assessment: Proposing Theory-Driven Exclusion Criteria in Research Sampling. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 14:1.

Dr. Rosenberg-Larsen also recently published an article exploring improvements in psychopathy research, in terms of facilitating methods for better sampling:

Anthropology

Tracy Rogers: Bare Bones of Research

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In case you missed it, Dr. Rogers shared her path through research and forensic anthropology, and as a consultant with the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, for the podcast "View to the U: An Eye on UTM Research".

You can catch the podcast here.

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Congratulations to UTM Alumni Meadow and Michael!

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(Left to right: Professor Wade Knaap (Forensic Identification Instructor), Special Constable Meadow Libby, Special Constable Michael Ho, Doctor Tracy Rogers (Forensic Program Director).

Last month, UTM alumni Meadow Libby and Michael Ho were presented with their officer badges as Forensic Special Contables with the Hamilton Police Service. Their roles consist of forensic photography, vehicle examination, fingerprint recovery, DNA collection, and exhibit collection. we are very proud of the hard work and dedication you have exhibited as representatives of our program!

See their alumni stories here:

Meadow Libby
Michael Ho

Biology

New Spring courses now available! Enrol now!

Two new Special Topics courses are now available for spring enrolment. They will be taught by our professor of forensic biology, Dr. Novroski. Apply today!

Nicole Novroski

FSC350H5S LEC0103 Missing Persons DVI and Unidentified Human Remains
The goal of this course is to gain a basic understanding of the case management involved in missing persons, disaster victim identification, and unidentified human remains cases.  Topics covered will include the interdisciplinary interactions between anthropology, odontology, fingerprinting and forensic genetics in the identification and databasing of both missing persons and recovered unidentified human remains. 
 
Prerequisite:  ANT202H5 / BIO207H5 (Priority given first to FSC SPE, FSC MAJ then FSC MIN)
DNA
FSC350H5S LEC0104 DNA Typing using Massively Parallel Sequencing
This course will explore Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS), a next-generation technology used for DNA typing in research and many clinical areas.  The focus will be on forensic applications of the MPS technology, however other uses such as health and disease research, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and potential RNA and protein applications will also be discussed. 
 
Prerequisite:  ANT202H5 / BIO207H5 (Priority given first to FSC SPE, FSC MAJ then FSC MIN)

Note: These courses satisfy the UTM Science Distribution Credit Requirement.

 

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