Forensic Scientist

Pike River mine explosion — geologists are here…

Anna Sandiford Nov 20, 2010

Just a short observation.  Tomorrow, 21 November 2010, the annual Geological Society of New Zealand conference will begin in Auckland:  GeoNZ 2010.  The conference has an overlap day with the NZ Branch of  The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). The deadline for GeoNZ abstracts was extended as a result of the Darfield earthquake [...] … Read More

Small World – NZ’s a winner!

Anna Sandiford Nov 16, 2010

As a pollen expert, I love the world down the microscope.  I like to browse the Nikon Small World website and take the “What is this?” challenge. They have awards each year for the best image and, if you didn’t already know, this year it’s great to see a New Zealand entry achieved 9th place – Duane … Read More

Blood alcohol 2nd sample — will it be lost?

Anna Sandiford Oct 29, 2010

Feeling suitably impressed with the facade, I attended at the Beehive yesterday to speak in front of the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee.  Apart from seeing a few familiar faces (from the TV, not that I knew in person), it was quite reminiscent of giving evidence in court except that after our statements, it [...] … Read More

How do I look?

Anna Sandiford Sep 30, 2010

According to a the UK Academy of Experts, the typical Expert Witness (which includes science, healthcare and engineering) in 2010 is male, self-employed and in his mid fifties. In the last 12 months he received 38 instructions (to do casework), wrote 39 reports, made one court appearance and charged 187 pounds per hour (information from the 2010 Fees Survey).  … Read More

A top programme – Media7’s Spotlight

Anna Sandiford Aug 19, 2010

I’m not a climate scientist and I don’t pretend to be. Although I’m a forensic scientist, I know a surprising amount about climate change in New Zealand over the last one million years and how volcanic eruptions from various different volcanic centres might affect a large urban area like Auckland (that was my PhD subject). That sort of relates to … Read More

CSI infographic — be amazed! (or amused — your choice)

Anna Sandiford Aug 02, 2010

Here is an interesting CSI graphic from It does a nice job of demonstrating the internationally-recognised phenomenon “the CSI Effect”, on which I have blogged and presented and generally griped for some time (see Part 3: CSI effect/forensic science jobs, The CSI Effect – it’s real and CSI effect: the speed and appliance of [...] … Read More

Drugs, driving and saliva

Anna Sandiford Aug 02, 2010

After a brief airing on RadioLive this morning to talk about a recent press release regarding drug/drink driving statistics, I thought it pertinent to add a little something to clarify what I was saying (three minutes is not a long time to say what you need to say on an issue as big as this!). [...] … Read More

To reduce or not reduce — that is the blood alcohol question

Anna Sandiford Jul 28, 2010

Several posts have got involved in the blood alcohol debate (examples being Blood alcohol, Categories of drunk and Wobbling into the road after a night at the pub….). Should NZ reduce the blood alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle from 80 mg alc/100 ml blood to 50? The UK still has 80 in blood [...] … Read More