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Forensic DNA Trace Evidence Interpretation

Activity Level Propositions and Likelihood Ratios

Paperback Engels 2023 9781032225814
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Forensic DNA Trace Evidence Interpretation: Activity Level Propositions and Likelihood Ratios provides all foundational information required for a reader to understand the practice of evaluating forensic biology evidence given activity level propositions and to implement the practice into active casework within a forensic institution. The book begins by explaining basic concepts and foundational theory, pulling together research and studies that have accumulated in forensic journal literature over the last 20 years.

The book explains the laws of probability - showing how they can be used to derive, from first principles, the likelihood ratio - used throughout the book to express the strength of evidence for any evaluation. Concepts such as the hierarchy of propositions, the difference between experts working in an investigative or evaluative mode and the practice of case assessment and interpretation are explained to provide the reader with a broad grounding in the topics that are important to understanding evaluation of evidence. Activity level evaluations are discussed in relation to biological material transferred from one object to another, the ability for biological material to persist on an item for a period of time or through an event, the ability to recover the biological material from the object when sampled for forensic testing and the expectations of the prevalence of biological material on objects in our environment. These concepts of transfer, persistence, prevalence and recovery are discussed in detail in addition to the factors that affect each of them.

The authors go on to explain the evaluation process: how to structure case information and formulate propositions. This includes how a likelihood ratio formula can be derived to evaluate the forensic findings, introducing Bayesian networks and explaining what they represent and how they can be used in evaluations and showing how evaluation can be tested for robustness. Using these tools, the authors also demonstrate the ways that the methods used in activity level evaluations are applied to questions about body fluids. There are also chapters dedicated to reporting of results and implementation of activity level evaluation in a working forensic laboratory. Throughout the book, four cases are used as examples to demonstrate how to relate the theory to practice and detail how laboratories can integrate and implement activity level evaluation into their active casework.


Aantal pagina's:566


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Over Duncan Taylor

Duncan Taylor is the principal scientist of forensic statistics at Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, Australia. He earned his PhD in molecular biology and a diploma in biostatistics, and has worked in the forensic field for over a decade. He has produced numerous DNA reports and presented evidence in magisterial and district courts in Australian states, as well as in the Supreme Court of Australia. He is a member of the Australasian Statistics Scientific Working Group and the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods for Y-STRs and has published a number of works in both areas. He is also one of the developers of STRmix, a DNA interpretation software being used in forensic labs in Australia and New Zealand. He is an associate professor of biology at Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia, and supervises honours and PhD students.

Andere boeken door Duncan Taylor


1. Principles of Evaluation
2. Evaluation of Observations Given Activity Level Propositions
3. Transfer, Persistence, Prevalence, and Recovery of Biological Traces
4. Structuring Case Information
5. Basic Mechanisms of Evaluation
6. Fundamentals of Bayesian Networks
7. Advanced Mechanisms of Evaluation
8. Testing Robustness of Evaluation
9. Cell Type Testing
10. Reporting
11. Implementation
12. Beyond Forensic Biology
13. Looking to the Future
14. Answers to Practice Questions

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