Anna Sandiford

Dr Anna Sandiford is a forensic science consultant and expert witness. She is also Director of The Forensic Group Ltd, a scientific consultancy based in New Zealand with an extensive national and international networks of experts upon whom to call. She has been been involved with forensic science since 1998 in both the UK and New Zealand and has assisted with cases throughout New Zealand, the UK, Channel Islands and Cayman Islands. Her areas of forensic expertise include alcohol, drugs, drug driving, drug traces, footwear/sockprints, glass and pollen (palynology). She is one of a handful of forensic pollen experts worldwide and is involved with an international team that provides environmental forensic services to police and intelligence agencies, particularly in the UK.

The effect of the Foo Fighters on the human body and seismic activity - Forensic Scientist

Dec 17, 2011

How does a rock concert affect the human body and how much seismic activity does such a concert produce? Not technically forensic science this one but interesting nonetheless for those of the population who attend rock gigs and are interested in seismology and medical issues. In terms of seismic activity, the answer is that a (read more)

Why it pays to check the work of the other side: the freeing of Amanda Knox - Forensic Scientist

Oct 04, 2011

In one of the world’s most high-profile cases, Amanda Knox was today acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. I don’t have personal knowledge of the case but if the media reports are to be believed, inappropriate collection techniques and poor laboratory standards were contributory to the DNA results being deemed unreliable.  An extract from the BBC says: “Prosecutors said she was killed in a brutal sex game which went wrong. Her throat had been slit and she had been sexually assaulted.  They maintain that Miss Knox’s DNA was on the handle of a kitchen knife – found in Mr Sollecito’s [Knox’s boyfriend of the time] flat and believed to be the murder weapon – with Miss Kercher’s DNA on the blade.  They also said Mr Sollecito’s DNA was on the clasp of Miss Kercher’s bra. But an independent review … Read More

Is there room for emotion in science? - Forensic Scientist

Sep 30, 2011

Last night, I looked at Auckland city from a new perspective: the top floor of Auckland Museum.  Fantastic views of the 360-degree variety.  Aside from that, I was there for the Auckland SCANZ panel discussion. All the speakers were excellent but, being a geologist by training (and secretly still am, in my head), I was particularly interested in the comments of Hamish Campbell of GNS about the reaction of GNS to the Christchurch earthquakes. My overall impression of his comments was that after the September earthquake and exacerbated by the February quake, GNS had underestimated two things: the public’s need for information in times of crisis; and GNS’s position as being that immediate point of contact at such times. After initial problems in communications with the media, the GNS website now has a wealth of information for public … Read More