CDU goes CSI 

Photo courtesy Ellie Hayward

Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Police Forensic Science Branch recently joined forces to give students an insight into DNA analysis at work.

Students taking an intensive unit called ‘DNA analysis and profiling’ at CDU were given a fascinating insight into forensic science thanks to the generosity of the NT Police Fire and Emergency Services Forensic Science Branch.

Forensic scientist Denise Grover explained what it was like to work as a forensic scientist and then gave students the opportunity to gather and analyse evidence in mock case studies. The students then had to present their results and defend their conclusions to the group.

The students had just completed an intensive research project involving DNA analysis of local sediment from disturbed and undisturbed habitats so they already had an advanced understanding of the techniques used in forensic science. This then allowed them to make the most of Denise’s challenging case studies.

The lively debates and quality of presentations clearly showed how much the students enjoyed Denise’s involvement in the unit.

‘Combining forces with the NT Police Forensic Science Branch and their facilities really enhanced the learning experience for these students,’ Denise explained.

‘The molecular facility Bioscience North Australia (BNA) developed through the CDU-NTG partnership agreement has been pivotal in facilitating this partnership.’