Solving crime through maths and science
Dr Duncan Taylor (BTech(Forensic&AnalyticalChem) ’01, BSc(Hons) ’02, PhD(Biol) ’07) loves nothing more than using mathematics and molecular science to solve crime in the community.
Dr Taylor’s curiosity for forensic problem solving began at Flinders University. “Flinders offers a world-class forensic course,” says Dr Taylor. “It was the first opportunity I had to plan, problem solve and adapt within a large-scale project.”
The mild-mannered Flinders science graduate is now seeing his work in forensics deliver more reliable and objective expert testimony in court cases around the world.
Principal Scientist Statistics at Forensic Science SA (FSSA) for the past 14 years, Dr Taylor has helped to create and develop STRmix™, a specialist software that analyses DNA profiles, even from small amounts of DNA or complex mixed samples.
With co-developers, Dr John Buckleton and Dr Jo-Anne Bright, from New Zealand’s Institute of Environmental Science and Research, the software interprets increasingly complex DNA profiles against databases, combining molecular biology and population science, to provide greater intelligence to police.