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Forensic science study gets $265,000 funding support


Oshawa, ON – Dr Shari Forbes, associate professor of forensic science, and Canada Research Chair in Decomposition Chemistry at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), has received a major funding grant from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Dr Forbes will receive $265,250 from NSERC over the next three years for her project On-site Detection of Accelerant Signatures at Suspected Arson Scenes. Her investigation is being supported by several key collaborating forensic science partner agencies, including the Centre of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Chief Coroner, the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Police College.

“This project involves the investigation of accelerant signatures and ignitable liquid residue from remains recovered from a fire scene,” she says. “Rapid detection of deliberate acts of crime is an important focus of the forensic science community. Such confirmations will assist in providing evidence that an accelerant may have been used to start the fire.”

“The research by Dr Forbes at UOIT will make a significant contribution to the science behind the detection of volatile ignitable liquids, which is a highly-specialized field of forensic science,” said Anne Sprung, chemistry section head, Centre of Forensic Sciences. “Our organization provides scientific support for official investigations such as those involving fires that have been started deliberately. Rapid detection of liquids that may have been used as fire accelerants will have a positive impact on the investigation and reduction of fire incidents in the community.”