Forensics expert uncovers critical evidence for TV series

Date of release: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dr Jen GuestGreenwich forensic scientist Dr Jennifer Guest has been featured in Robbie Coltrane's Critical Evidence programme on the TV Crime & Investigation Channel.

Dr Guest, a member of the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science, also contributed as the forensics expert in Robbie Coltrane's popular online podcasts. She has revealed how bloodstain pattern analysis and DNA samples can help solve the most difficult of crimes.

Some episodes of the TV series were filmed at the university's Medway Campus.

"I was a bit nervous to begin with about being filmed, but it was great fun and extremely interesting," says Dr Guest. "We looked at some really difficult and perplexing cases. The actual evidence was minimal but it is always fascinating just how much you can work out many years after a crime has been committed. DNA can survive for years in blood and semen samples. It is almost indelible."

Dr Guest, who spent ten years in the serious crime directorate of London Metropolitan Police, specialises in bloodstain pattern analysis at crime scenes. Her skills can, for example, reveal how victims were injured and the different positions their bodies were in when their blood was spilled.

Her own interest in forensics was sparked as a child watching television programmes about solving cold case crimes. At that time, there were very few opportunities to study the subject at university.

"I decided to take my first degree in biology and then went on to do a PhD but I was still keen to get involved in forensics. I was fortunate to see a job advert in a national newspaper for a scientist with the Met. I applied and was accepted. At the Met I was trained in bloodstain pattern analysis and that has been may key area of research ever since," she says.

The University of Greenwich offers a range of Forensic Science degree courses, achieving 100 per cent satisfaction scores in the 2016 National Student Survey.

"We are particularly fortunate in having excellent labs at the university, and our own crime scene room," says Dr Guest. "We pride ourselves that we focus on developing our students as well trained forensic scientists ready to join the workplace and take on real life investigations.

"All our students are encouraged to become members of the Chartered Society of Forensic Scientists and attend its regular seminars across the country to widen their experience."

For more about Critical Evidence: http://crimeinvestigation.co.uk/shows/robbie-coltranes-critical-evidence

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Dr Jennifer Guest, Senior Lecturer, University of Greenwich.