Dr Laura Walton-Williams

Director Of Business & Enterprise

School of Justice, Security and Sustain

I have been a lecturer in the Forensic and Crime Science Department at Staffordshire University since 2004. I am actively involved in research in forensic science, research informed teaching and work based learning. I also conduct consultancy in the examination of evidence of a biological origin.

My areas of expertise include DNA analysis, body fluid identification, bloodstain pattern analysis and analysis of other biological evidence. My research interests include the transfer and persistence of trace levels of DNA, the recovery of DNA from evidential items, the use of biological evidence in wildlife crime investigations, the analysis and interpretation of body fluids and the influence of placements on student performance. I have presented my research at national and international conferences and have advised on a number of forensically relevant cases.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Professional Member of the Forensic Science Society

  • Member of BAHID (British Association for Human Identification)

  • Member of the Forensic Institute Research Network

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • MSc Forensic Science, Kings College London

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education, Staffordshire University

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods, Staffordshire University

  • BSc (Hons) Applied Genetics, The University of Liverpool

Expertise

  • Forensic DNA analysis including (but not limited to) STR and mtDNA analysis

  • Forensic Biology including (but not limited to) Garment Examination and Hair Analysis (human and Animal)

  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

  • Body Fluid Identification

Research interests

  • Currently completing a PhD (Staffordshire University funded) entitled ‘Utilising DNA from cartridge cases as a means of identification and studying the potential for DNA deposition and secondary transfer of DNA’

  • DNA and RNA Analysis – Currently supervising a Forensic Science Society funded project into RNA analysis of body fluids

  • Body Fluid Analysis – I am currently supervising a PhD entitled ‘Investigating Methods to Determine the Source and Age of Body Fluids’

  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

  • Analysis of Evidence of a Biological Origin

Other projects include:

  • Development of a Forensic undersuit to reduce the contamination of DNA and trace evidence at crime scenes and to enhance Personal Protective Equipment comfort

Enterprise and commercial interests

  • Delivery of Forensic Science Team Building Exercises

  • Delivery of Forensic Awareness Training for Staffordshire and Cheshire Police Forces

  • Delivery of Forensic Awareness Training for Senior Police officers as well as other police, forensic and medical personnel in Mauritius

  • EU Funded Project - Developing Education, Skills and Capacity in Forensic Awareness and Forensic Science in the Southern African Development Community and Caribbean -

Publications

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2011) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Secondary Transfer of DNA: The Influence of Shedder Status on the Dominant Donor in a Mixed Profile’ at the Forensic Science Society DNA Conference and Body Fluids Forum, Manchester.

Orphanou, C and Walton L.M. (2011) Oral presentation entitled ‘The recovery of DNA from contact lenses’ at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2011) Oral presentation entitled ‘The Potential Impact on Forensic Casework of DNA Secondary Transfer and Persistence’ at the International Forensic Science Conference, University of Technology, Jamaica.

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2011) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Retrieval of a DNA profile from Spent Cartridge Cases at the International Forensic Science Conference, University of Technology, Jamaica.

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2009) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Retrieval of a DNA profile from Spent Cartridge Cases’ at the International Forensic Science Conference, University of Mauritius.

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2009) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Secondary Transfer of DNA: The Influence of Shedder Status on the Dominant Donor in a Mixed Profile’ at the International Forensic Science Conference, University of Mauritius.

Walton, L.M, Jackson, AJ and Mountain HM. (2008) Oral Presentation entitled ‘The Potential Impact of DNA Secondary Transfer and Persistence on Forensic Casework’ at the Forensic Science Society’s Forensic DNA Analysis Conference, University of Teesside.

Walton, L.M. (2007) Oral presentation entitled ‘The Secondary Transfer of DNA: The Influence of Shedder Status on the Dominant Donor in a Mixed Profile’ and Poster presentation entitled ‘The Retrieval of a DNA profile from Spent Cartridge Cases’ at the British Association for Human Identification Conference, ‘Human Identification in the 21st Century’, University of Surrey.

Walton, L.M. (2006) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Secondary Transfer of DNA: The Influence of Shedder Status on the Dominant Donor in a Mixed Profile’ at the Advances in Forensic DNA Analysis Conference, organised by the Forensic Science Society and the Centre for Forensic Investigation, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough.

Walton, L.M. (2006) Poster presentation entitled ‘The Secondary Transfer of DNA: The Influence of Shedder Status on the Dominant Donor in a Mixed Profile’ at the 2nd Annual FORREST (FORensic RESearch and Teaching) Conference, University of Lincoln.

Other projects include:

Invited to deliver Module entitled ‘DNA Analysis for Veterinarians’ contributing towards Forensics and Law General Practitioner Certificate programme, awarded by Improve International and the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies.

Invited Lecture entitled ‘DNA: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives’ at Cranfield University short course on Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

Invited Workshop entitled ‘A collaborative approach to biological evidence examination’ at the International Forensic Science Conference, University of Technology, Jamaica

Assisted in the production of education resources for GCSE Chemistry, funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 15 for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020