Forensic Biologist

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Forensic Biologists apply scientific procedures and techniques to the examination of biological evidence that may assist in legal investigations. This type of work most often requires an undergraduate biological science degree and post-graduate specialisation in forensics. Forensic biologists often work with other specialists such as archaeologists to provide assistance in police investigations and may be required to present their findings in court.

Some tasks that a Forensic Biologist may perform include:

  • The examination and comparison of materials such as fibres, paints, cosmetics, oils, petrol, plastics, glass, metals, soils and gunshot residues
  • DNA profiling using human and animal biological material
  • Botanical identification of plant materials
  • Examination of crime scenes and firearms
  • Detection and enhancement of footprints, tyre marks and tracks
  • Examination of fire and explosion scenes
  • The production of technical reports to be used in court

A wide range of expertise is required in Forensic Biology, specific areas include chemistry, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, botany, geology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, crime scene examination, fingerprint and document examination.

Forensic Scientists require good observational skills, the ability to think in a logical and lateral manner, a high attention to detail and excellent communication skills with which to present their results.