Professor Paul Kirkbride

Professor of Forensic Science

College of Science and Engineering

place Physical Sciences Building (3104)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I have been involved in forensic science as a forensic chemist in one capacity or another since 1985. My first placement was at Forensic Science SA where I worked as a toxicologist, illicit drugs analyst, clandestine drug lab investigator and a trace evidence examiner. I then moved into management and became, over time, the supervisor of the chemistry group, the quality manager and finally the Assistant Director-Science, a position where I was responsible for management of quality, information systems and research.

In 2006 I took up a position with the National Institute of Forensic Science in Melbourne as the Manager of Business Programs. In that role my responsibilities were to initiate and manage forensic science research projects on a national basis.

In 2008 I commenced as Chief Scientist with the Forensic and Data Centres portfolio of the Australian Federal Police, a position where I was again responsible for research management and quality management.

Qualifications

BSc, BSc(Hons) and PhD, all from the University of Adelaide and all in the field of chemistry, in particular organic chemistry.

Honours, awards and grants

Publication awards

Fifteen publication recognitions by the National Institute of Forensic Science in their annual "Best Paper" awards. For the most recent awards have a look here:

https://research.flinders.edu.au/RP/Blog/4417/research-engagement-and-impact-flinders-forensic-science-cleans-up-at-awards

http://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2016/11/30/forensic-scientists-win-triple-crown-of-national-awards

The International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and instrument company Agilent awarded Sathisha Kamanna a best student publication award for 2016. Follow these links to find out more::

https://blogs.flinders.edu.au/fit/2017/08/14/mass-spectrometrist-catches-international-eye/

https://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-mass-spectrometry/news/ijms-agilent-best-student-paper-awards-2016

Research grants in the last 5 years:

ARC Linkage Grant "Visualization of Latent DNA" Have a look here for a related story:

https://research.flinders.edu.au/rp/Blog/10881/research-engagement-and-impact-finding-the-invisible-traces

Defence Grand Challenge Grant "Countering Improvised Threats"

Defence Science and Technology Group - Counter Terrorism Technical Support Office grant "Collection and Exploitation of Informative Genetic Data from Trace Material" with Prof Adrian Linacre. Have a look here for related news items:

https://click.mail.advantagebusinessmedia.com/?qs=410f70e041b42ad4d1ad76e7d63f58c6938aa84578dec4ff00b603d505c31a9a04629c2da3f8dc9f0ad738140589adedd3b710d558946190

Premier's Research and Industry Fund grant "Transformation of Forensic Gunshot Residude Evidence" have a look here: http://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2016/08/18/flinders-forensic-fingerprints-a-gun-crime-game-cha/

ARC Linkage Grant "Universal Immunogenic Reagents for the Detection of Latent Fingermarks"

ARC Linkage Grant "Direct Sample Analysis with Nanostructured Silicon Chips"

ARC Linkage Grant "Estimating per capita use and release of chemicals by wastewater analysis"

ARC LIEF Grant "Advanced Nanomaterials Characterisation Facility"

Key responsibilities

At Flinders University I am the Course Coordinator for the BSc (Forensic and Analytical Science) degree and the Topic Coordinator for FACH1701 (Introduction to Forensic Science).and FACH3702 (Drug Action, Metabolism, Toxicology and Analysis).

In my life before academia, my key operational forensic science responsibilities included: examination of trace evidence (fire scene residues, textile fibres, paint, explosives residues and gunshot residues), illicit drugs and clandestine laboratories, and provision of expert evidence in courts.
As a senior manager in forensic science agancies my key responsibilities included: research and development management, information systems management, quality management, and policy and planning.

Research interests

In general terms, my overall aim in research is to develop new techniques, new knowledge and new technologies that can be directly applied in the improvement of forensic science practice.

In particular my current interests include the following:

  • Environmental impacts of clandestine drug laboratories
  • Measurement of community illicit drug consumption via wastewater analysis
  • By-products in the synthesis of illicit drugs and their criminal intelligence value
  • By-products in the synthesis of explosives and their criminal intelligence value
  • Applications of microanalytical techniques to the analysis of trace evidence (including time of flight secondary ionization mass spectrometry, desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, infrared microspectroscopy, UV-VIS-NIR spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, Raman and enhanced Raman techniques, stable isotope measurements)
  • Chemical characterization of organic and inorganic gunshot residues
  • Evidence assessment and presentation
Teaching interests

My aim in teaching is to share my skills, knowledge and experience gained in over 25 years in forensic science as a case examiner and senior manager. My plan is to teach you everything that I know about forensic science.....but not everything that YOU will know!

My particular expertise include the following:

  • Trace evidence examination with particular reference to examination of ignitable liquids (i.e. arson investigation), textile fibres, paint, explosives and gunshot residues.
  • Technology of trace evidence analysis with particular reference to infrared microspectroscopy, Raman microspectroscopy, pyrolysis GC-MS, UV-Visible microspectroscopy, solid-phase microextraction and GC-MS.
  • Illicit drug synthesis and analysis of illict drugs.
  • Provision of expert evidence.
  • Materials science as applied to forensic science.
Topic lecturer
FACH2702 Chemical Criminalistics
BIOL4731 Evidence Evaluation
FACH1701 Introduction to Forensic Science
FACH3702 Drug Action, Metabolism, Toxicology and Analysis
CHEM2712 Separation Science
Supervisory interests
Forensic and analytical chemistry
Forensic science
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: MICROBIAL IMPACTS ON TOXICOLOGY EVIDENCE (1), MASS SPECTROMETRY FOR PROTEOMIC ANALYSIS OF HUMAN BODY FLUIDS (1), LAB ON A CHIP ANALYSIS OF DRUGS IN BODY FLUIDS (1), GUNSHOT RESIDUE RESEARCH (2), DETECTING DRUGS IN HAIRS (1), INFARED SPECTRAL ANALYSIS OF PAINT (1), Determination of propellant health (1)
Associate supervisor: CHARACTERIZATION OF BRUISES (1), WILDLIFE FORENSIC SCIENCE (1), DETECTION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS (1), NUCLEAR FORENSIC SCIENCE (1), FLUORESCENCE OF SEMEN (1), CHARACTERIZATION OF EXPLOSIVES (2), WASTEWATER ANALYSIS OF CLANDESTINE DRUG LAB RESIDUES (1)
Completion
Associate supervisor: CHARACTERIZATION OF EXPLOSIVES (1), Dantocol in polymer bonded explosives (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Jared Castle

Forensic & Clinical Toxicology Association (FACTA) "Best Oral Presentation" runner-up - DEC 2017

Jared Castle

National Institute of Forensic Science Best Chapter ina Book" award, 2017.Have a look at this link:https://research.flinders.edu.au/RP/Blog/4417/research-engagement-and-impact-flinders-forensic-science-cleans-up-at-awards - DEC 2017

Nick Lucas

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2016 -

Sathisha Kamanna

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2016 -

Marie Morelato (UTS)

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2015 -

Sathisha Kamanna

American Society of Mass Spectrometry,IJMS-Agilent Best Student Paper Awards 2016. Have a look at https://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-mass-spectrometry/news/ijms-agilent-best-student-paper-awards-2016 - JUN 2017

Marie Morelato (UTS)

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2013 -

John Coumbaros (UniSA)

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2010 -

James Waters

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" - MAR 2013

Silvana Tridico (Murdoch)

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2011 -

John Coumbaros (UniSA)

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2002 -

Hayley Brown

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2004 (second award!) -

Hayley Brown

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2004 (first award) -

Agnieska Jaunsz

National Institute of Forensic Science "Best Paper" 2004 -

Publications