A series of Summary Notes have been produced by members of the network.

1. The importance of effective communication between forensic geoscientists and the police

2. The geological search for a homicide grave

3. SOC sampling protocol suggestions for the collection of soil


Key Publications from GIMI members

Refereed Journals (return to top)

Farmer N.L., Ruffell A., Meier-Augenstein W., Meneely J., Kalin R.M. (2006). Forensic analysis of wooden safety matches - a case study. Science & Justice 47(2): 88-98.

Gilbert M., Janaway R., Tobin D., Cooper A. and Wilson A. (2006). Historical correlates of postmortem mitochondrial DNA damage in degraded hair. Forensic Science International, 156: 201-207.

Gilbert M., Menez L., Janaway R., Tobin D., Cooper A. and Wilson A. (2006). Resistance of degraded hair shafts to contaminant DNA. Forensic Science International, 156: 208-212.

Morgan R., Wiltshire P., Parker A. and Bull P. (2006). The role of forensic geoscience in wildlife crime detection. Forensic Science International, 162: 152-162.

Wiltshire P.E.J. (2006). Consideration of some taphonomic variables of relevance to forensic palynological investigation in the United Kingdom Forensic Science International 163, 173–182.

Wiltshire P.E.J. (2006). Hair as a source of forensic evidence in murder investigations. Forensic Science International 163: 241–248.

Wiltshire P.E.J., Black S. (2006). The cribriform approach to the retrieval of palynological evidence from the turbinates of murder victims. Forensic Science International 163: 224–230.

O’Brien R.C., Forbes S.L., Meyer J. and Dadour I.R. (2007). A preliminary investigation of the scavenging activity on pig carcasses in Western Australia. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology 3: 194-199.

McKinley J. and Ruffell A. (2007). Contemporaneous spatial sampling at a scene of crime: advantages and disadvantages. Forensic Science International, 172: 196-202.

Wilson A., Janaway R., Holland A., Dodson H., Baran E., Pollard M. and Tobin D. (2007). Modelling the buried human body environment in upland climes using three contrasting field sites. Forensic Science International, 169: 6-18.

Lark R.M. and Rawlins B. G. (2008). Can we predict the provenance of a soil sample for forensic purposes by reference to a spatial database? European Journal of Soil Science 59: 1000-1006.

Ruffell A., Donnelly C., Carver N., Murphy E., Murray E. and McCambridge J. (2008). Suspect burial excavation procedure: a cautionary tale. Forensic Science International183: e11-e16.

Macdonald L.M., Singh B.K., Thomas N., Brewer M., Campbell C.D. and Dawson L.A. (2008). Microbial DNA profiling by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism for forensic examination of soil evidence and the influence of sample condition. Journal Applied Microbiology, 105: 813-821.

Dawson L. and Hillier S. (In press). Measurement of soil characteristics for forensic applications. Surface and Interface Analysis.

Ruffell A. and Dawson, L.A. (2009). Forensic geology in environmental crime: Illegal waste movement and burial in Northern Ireland. Environmental Forensics 1: 208-213.

Ruffell A., McCabe A., Donnelly C. and Sloan B. (2009). Location and assessment of an historic (15-60 years old) mass grave using geographic and ground-penetrating radar investigation, NW Ireland. J ournal of Forensic Sciences 54: 15-26.


Conference Proceedings (return to top)

Donnelly L.J. (2006). First inaugural meeting of the Geological Society of London, Forensic Geoscience Group. Geoscientists at Crime Scenes. Forensic Geoscience Group Meeting, Geological Society of London, Burlington House, 20 December 2006.

Fitzpatrick R., Raven M. and McLaughlin M. (2006). Forensic soil science: an overview with reference to case investigations and challenges. In: Fitzpatrick R. (Ed.) Proceedings of 1st International Workshop on Criminal and Environmental Forensics, Perth, Australia. http://www.clw.csiro.au/cafss/

Horswell J., Parkinson R. and Macdonald C., Cordiner S., Speir T., Chambers G., Vass A. (2006). DNA fingerprinting soils – dirt, death and DNA. Presentation at 18th International Symposium on Forensic Sciences, Perth, Western Australia, 2-7 April.

Macdonald L.M., Davy V., Brewer M. and Dawson L.A. (2006). Towards a soil forensic database: Integration of soil fingerprinting techniques. In: Proceedings of Soil Forensics Workshop at the Californian Association of Criminalists, 108th Fall Seminar, The Climate of Crime: Hot Topics and Cold Hits.

Meier-Augenstein W. (2006). Stable isotope profiling – A new powerful tool for forensic science and human identification? Keynote presentation at 4th International Conference of the European Academy of Forensic Science (EAFS), 13-16 June, Helsinki.

Dawson L.A., Miller D.R. and Macdonald, L.M. (2007). Integration of modern soil fingerprinting methods for forensic application. UCL Centre for Security and Crime Science Conference, 16-17th July 2007.

Macdonald L.M., Donnelly D., Ball, J. and Dawson L.A., (2007). Integration of modern soil fingerprinting methods for forensic application. In: Proceedings of The Environment in a Legal and Regulatory Context - Environmental Forensics: a new frontier, Bournemouth University, 16-18 April: 24.

Miller D.R. and Dawson L.A. (2007). Soil forensics. International Crime Science Conference, 16 and 17 July 2007. Published CD- 2 Soil Forensic Sessions.

Miller D.R., Dawson L.A., Ritz, K., Bellamy P.H., Rawlins, B. and Wilson, A.K. (2007). Developing integrated geographic soils data and analysis for crime investigation. Conference proceedings paper (published on CD "Science, Crime and Security- making connections").

Dawson L.A., Miller D.R., Donnelly L.J., Cassella J.P., Pringle J.K. and Hollingsworth K. (2008). Communication in Forensic Geoscience featuring an example from TV. Forensic Geoscience Group, The Geological Society, Geoscientific equipment and techniques at crime scenes, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London 16-17th December 2008.

Donnelly D., Dawson L.A., Miller D.R. and Macdonald L. (2008). Geographic modelling of soil attributes and access for investigative purposes. In: Proceedings of International Crime Science Conference, 17-18 July, British Library, London.

Macdonald L.M., Jackson G., Brewer M.J. and Dawson L.A. (2008). Transfer and persistence influences on the value of soil evidence: exploring a Bayesian approach. In: Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics, University of Lausanne, 20-23 August.


Books Edited and Book Chapters (return to top)

Petrisor I.G., Parkinson R.A., Horswell J., Waters J.M., Burgoyne L.A., Catcheside D.E.A., Dejonghe W., Leys N., Vanbroekhoven K., Pattnaik P. and Graves D. (2006). Microbial forensics. In: Environmental Forensics: A Contaminant Specific Guide.  Elsevier Press: 227-251.

Black S.M., Thomson T.J.U. , (Eds.) (2006) Forensic Human Identification: An Introduction. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida (USA), ISBN 0-8493-39545.

Meier-Augenstein W. (2007). Stable isotope fingerprinting. In: Black S.M., Thomson T.J.U. (Eds.) Forensic Human Identification: An Introduction. Boca Raton FL, CRC Press, Chapter 2: 29-53.

Ruffell A. and McKinley J. (2008). Geoforensics. Wiley & Sons Ltd.: 312pp.

Tibbett M. and Carter D. (Eds.) (2008). Soil Analysis in Forensic Taphonomy. Chemical and Biological Effects of Buried Human Remains. Boca Raton, FL :CRC Press.

Donnelly L.J. (2008). The role of communication in geology: lessons learnt from volcanic, mining, exploration, geotechnical and police (forensic) investigations. In: Liverman D.G.E, Marker B. & Pereira C.P (Eds) Communicating Environmental Geoscience book. The Geological Society.

Fitzpatrick R.W. (2009). Soil Forensic Analysis. In: Jamieson A. Moenssens A. (Eds.) Wiley Encyclopaedia of Forensic Science. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Janaway R., Percival S. and Wilson A. (2009). Decomposition of human remains. In: Percival S. (Ed.) Microbiology and Aging. New York, Springer: 313-334.

Ritz K., Dawson L. and Miller D. (Eds.) (2009).  Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics. Springer: 520pp.


Reviewed papers, by GIMI Network members, published in: Ritz K., Dawson L. and Miller D. (Eds.) (2009).  Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics, by chapter number, title and contributing authors.

2. Expert scientific evidence in court: the legal considerations. D.P. Auchie.

3. Some thoughts on the role of probabilistic reasoning in the evaluation of evidence. C.G.G. Aitken.

6. Characterisation and discrimination of urban soils: preliminary results from The Soil Forensics University Network. A. Morrisson, S. McColl, L.A. Dawson, M. Brewer.

7. Environmental considerations for common burial site selection after pandemic events. A. Williams, T. Temple, S.J.T. Pollard, R.M. Jones, K. Ritz.

8. A systematic approach to soil forensics: criminal case studies involving transference from crime scene to forensic evidence. R.W. Fitzpatrick, M.D. Raven, S.T. Forrester.

9. Forensic ecology, botany and palynology: some aspects of their role in criminal investigation. P.E.J. Wiltshire.

13. Locating concealed homicide victims: developing the role of geoforensics. M. Harrisson, L.J. Donnelly.

14. Geological trace evidence: forensic and legal perspectives. A. Keaney, A. Ruffell, J. McKinley.

16. The geoforensic analysis of soils from footwear. R.M. Morgan, J. Freudiger-Bonzon, K.H. Nichols, T. Jellis, S. Dunkerley, P. Zelazowski, P.A. Bull.

17. Using soils and groundwater data to understand resistance surveys over a simulated clandestine grave. J.R. Jervis, J.K. Pringle, J.P. Cassella, G. Tuckwell.

19. Spatial thinking in search methodology: a case study of the 'No body murder enquiry', West of Ireland. J. McKinley, A. Ruffell, M. Harrison, W. Meier-Augenstein, H. Kemp, C. Graham, L. Barry.

20. Research in forensic taphonomy: a soil-based perspective. M. Tibbett, D.O. Carter.

21. Can temperature affect the release of ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen in gravesoil following the burial of a mammalian (Rattus rattus) cadaver? D.O. Carter, D. Yellowlees, M. Tibbett.

22. Taphonomic changes to the buried body in arid environments: an experimental case study in Peru. R.C. Janaway, A.S. Wilson, G.C. Diaz, S. Guillen.

23. Decomposition studies using animal models in contracting environments: evidence from temporal changes in soil chemistry amd microbial activity. K.L. Stokes, S.L. Forbes, L.A. Benniger, D.O. Carter, M. Tibbett.

24. Microbial community analysis of human decomposition on soil. R.A. Parkinson, K-R. Dias, J. Horswell, P. Greenwood, N. Banning, M. Tibbett, A.A. Vass.

29. Discrimination of domestic garden soils using plant wax compounds as markers. R.W. Mayes, L.M. Macdonald, J. Ross, L.A. Dawson.

30. Environmental forensic investigations: the potential use of a novel heavy metal sensor and novel taggants. P. Pollard, A. Adams, P.K.J. Robertson, K. Christidis, S. Officer, G.R. Prabhu, K. Gow, A. Morrisson.

32. Soils in forensic science: underground meets underworld. A.D. Barclay, L.A. Dawson, L.J. Donnelly, D.R. Miller, K. Ritz.


Other (return to top)

Meier-Augenstein W., Fraser I. and Kalin R.M. (2005). A stable future for forensic chemistry: identification of human bodies using stable isotopes. Poster presented at Annual Conference of SIMSUG, 10-13 April, University of York.

Farmer N.L., Meier-Augenstein W. and Kalin R.M. (2005). Isotope analysis of wooden safety matches. Poster presented at Annual Conference of SIMSUG, 10-13 April, University of York.

Reidy L., Meier-Augenstein W. and Kalin R.M. (2005). The application of stable isotope analysis to the forensic investigation of paint. Poster presented at Annual Conference of SIMSUG, 10-13 April, University of York.

Farmer N.L., Meier-Augenstein W. and Kalin R.M. (2005). Isotope analysis of safety matches. Poster presented at 17th Triannual Conference of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS 2005) ‘Justice Through Science’, 21-26 August, Hong Kong.

Miller D., Dawson L., Stevens, D. and Small D. (2006). The theatre of crime. Police Professional, October 2006: 41-43.

Miller D.R. and Dawson L.A. (2006). Crime network holds in augural meeting. Connect, EPSRC magazine 2006, 43: 2.

Buchanan H.A.S., Nic Daeid N., Kerr W.J., Meier-Augenstein W. and Middleditch M. (2008). IRMS potential in a forensic context: An MDMA profiling example. Poster presentation at Forensic Science Society AGM, 31 October, Wyboston, England.

Buchanan H.A.S., Nic Daeid N., Kerr W.J., Meier-Augenstein W. and Middleditch M. (2008). IRMS potential in a forensic context: An MDMA profiling example. Poster presentation at Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) Conference 2 September, Edinburgh.

Buchanan H.A.S., Nic Daeid N., Meier-Augenstein W., Kemp H.F., Kerr W.J. and Middleditch M. (2008). Presentation at United States Drug Enforcement Agency, Special Testing and Research Facility, 17 July, Dulles, Virginia.

Buchanan H.A.S., Nic Daeid N., Meier-Augenstein W., Kemp H.F., Kerr W.J. and Middleditch M. (2008). Presentation at International Association of Forensic Scientists (IAFS), 21-26 July, New Orleans.

Fitzpatrick R.W. (2009). The dirt on dirt – If you commit a dirty crime, dirt will tell (or dob) on you. Popular article in The Helix Magazine, Issue 125.

Dawson L.A., Donnelly D. and Miller D.R. (2009). Trace evidence in "Dying Light". Murder, Mystery and Microscopes, British Association Festival of Science, University of Guildford, Guildford, 8th September 2009.

Posters from GIMI members (return to top)

Environmental Forensics

Contaminated land - What? Who? and What Next? (4MB pdf) F. Moore

Criminal Forensics

Scanning electron microscopy study for a "cold case". (1MB pdf) E. Delbos

How Soil Evidence Helped Solve a Double Murder Case (1.1MB pdf) R. Fitzpatrick


The Midlands Burial Research Group (1MB pdf) J. Cassella, J. Pringle, J. Jervis

The Geological Society of London. (0.3MB pdf) L. Donnelly

A geoforensic comparison of physical and chemical analysis of soils from the Plateau region of Switzerland. (3MB pdf) J. Freudiger-Bonzon, P. Bull, R. Morgan

Geoforensics and Information Management for crime Investigation (7.5 MB pdf) D. Miller, L.A. Dawson, K. Ritz and the GIMI Network

Geostatistics, Databases and GIS

Where Dunnit? (1 MB pdf) D. Donnelly, L.M. Macdonald, J. Ball and L.A. Dawson

Biological and Chemical Analytical Diagnostics

An Urban Investigation Using Alkaline Profiles for Land-Use Discrimination (770 KB pdf) V. Eaglesham, L.A. Dawson, L.M. Macdonald, A. Prieur, A. Morrisson, J. Ross and B. Mayes

Exploring the Forensic Potential of Novel Soil Profiling Methods (810 KB pdf) L.M. Macdonald, L.A. Dawson, R.W. Mayes, C.D. Campbell, B.S. Singh, J. Ross, M.J. Brewer, W. Towers,
P. Bellamy, K. Ritz and C. Jordan

An Urban Investigation Using Colour for Land Use Discrimination (565 KB pdf) A. Prieur, L.A. Dawson, A. Morrisson, L.M. Macdonald and V. Eaglesham

Development of methodology for analysis of small soil samples for plant wax biomarkers enabling their use in forensic investigation (550 KB pdf) J. Ross, R.W. Mayes and L.A. Dawson

SoilFit: integration of soil fingerprinting techniques for forensic application. (1MB pdf) The SoilFit Team


Manganese staining of medieval bone from Hulton Abbey. (0.3MB pdf) N. Lamont, N. Boothroyd, J. Cassella, R. Rushton, J. Pringle

Forensic characterisation of soil microbial communities in response to cadaver decomposition (110 KB pdf) K.R. Dias, R. Parkinson, J. Horswell, M. Tibbett

Does the soil microbial community adapt during the decomposition of skeletal muscle tissue? (1MB pdf) T. Luitingh, D. Carter, M. Tibbett