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  • Professor of Crime and Forensic Sciences
  • Dept of Security and Crime Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Ruth Morgan (MA (Oxon), D.Phil) is Professor of Crime and Forensic Science in the Department of Security and Crime Science, and the Director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences.  The Centre facilitates a network of UCL academics from a wide range of different disciplines and departments to enable a strategic and multidisciplinary research programme in collaboration with external partners and forensic science stakeholders.

Ruth serves on a number of national committees, is the Vice Chair of the London Geological Society Forensic Geoscience Group, and sits on the editorial board for the journal 'Medicine, Science and the Law'. She was part of the group that put together the QAA benchmark statement for Forensic Science and acts as External Examiner for a number of UK Universities.  She is also a reviewer for forensic geoscience and forensic science submissions for a number of internationally peer reviewed journals.

Ruth is a regular speaker (including a recent TED talk) and commentator on forensic science and a strong advocate for addressing the challenges faced in forensic science with problem based research that has an impact in the real world.

Research Groups
Research Summary

Ruth's research group is focussed around the role of physical evidence in the detection of crime and concerns the interpretation of forensic evidence and intelligence.  The research falls into two main areas; evidence dynamics and the interpretation of evidence.  The group is actively seeking to establish empirical evidence bases for understanding the evidence dynamics of trace evidence (soil, sediment, pollen, DNA, gun-shot residue, explosives etc.).  It is also conducting research that addresses the need to develop our understanding of decision-making and the interaction of multiple variables in crime investigation and detection to develop an evidence base in order to enhance our ability to interpret the analysis of forensic materials more effectively, in order to generate valuable and robust intelligence and evidence.

A recent project has concentrated on developing forensic applications of Scanning Electron Microscopy in the analysis of quartz grain surface textures and establishing complementary suites of techniques for establishing provenance of soil/sediment materials of interest to a forensic investigation.  Another project is addressing the creation of empirical bases for the development of frameworks that illustrate the interaction of different types of evidence and develop probabilistic approaches for assessing the weight of evidence.

The research is regularly presented at international conferences and in the popular media.

Teaching Summary

Professor Ruth Morgan is the Director of the MSc Crime and Forensic Science, a programme that is based upon the leading research taking place at UCL in collaboration with our external collaborators.  The course uniquely addresses forensic science in the context of crime science.  The programme develops themes that cut across the entire forensic science process from the crime scene and evidence identification and collection, to the analysis of the evidence, the interpretation of intelligence and evidence and the presentation of evidence in court.  The programme draws on expertise from a wide range of industry partners.

Ruth has convened a number of modules including ‘Presenting Evidence’, 'Crime Scene Investigation', 'The Interpretation of Forensic Evidence' and 'Case Assessment and Interpretation for Forensic Scientists' (in collaboration with Principal Forensic Services). She currently convenes two modules 'Forensic Geoscience' and 'Investigation and Detection'.  She teaches on the MSc Crime and Forensic Science, MSc Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism, MSc Crime Science. She supervises PhD, MRes and MSc thesis research. 

01-JUL-2010 Director, UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2016 AFHEA ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow – Academic studies in Higher Education  
2006 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Forensic Geoscience University of Oxford
2006 MA Oxon MA Oxon – Geography Hertford College Oxford
2002 BA Bachelor of Arts – Geography Hertford College Oxford
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