Forensic Geobiology

Course content

Through an intensive two-week summer school, this course will provide students with an overview of various kinds of genetic and morphological investigations for individual and species identification in a forensic context. The focus is on forensic genetics and its applications in crime cases, kinship analysis and species determination. Exercises will focus on how to evaluate DNA profiling results and from these calculate the likelihood ratio; the strenght of the evidence. The students will also be introduced to the interdisciplinary forensic topics of Entomology, Pathology, Genome Sequencing, Ancient DNA and Soil Analysis, Population Genetics, Human and Vertebrate Anthropology and Botany. The teaching consists of lectures followed by exercises relvant for forensic investigations. There will be group works during the course where students get to choose a subject related to forensic research and upcoming methods. Exercises and group assignments will be evaluated individually and in group during the course.

The course starts with a brief introduction to Cell Biology, Genetics, Genetic Variation & Regulation and Molecular Biology Techniques, focusing on areas relevant to the forensic applications.

When the course is completed, students will have gained insight and skills regarding the application of the following areas in a forensic context:

  • Individual and species identification
  • STRs and SNPs
  • DNA profiling
  • Likelihood ratio calculations
  • Population dynamics
  • Heredity & kinship analysis
  • Physical traits
  • Probability calculations in forensic genetics
  • Human crime case investigations
  • Genetic regulation and possible applications in forensics
Education

MSc Programme in Biology

Learning outcome

Knowledge

The student will gain knowledge about genetic investigations for individual and species identification in a forensic context. The student will be aware of some ethical concerns within human forensic genetics.

Competences

The student can apply statistical methods used in forensic genetics and describe the methodological advances and research within the different aspects of forensic biology as well as carry out a paternity case evaluation and a crime case evaluation.

Skills

After following the course the student will be able to critically assess and analyze forensic data and outline the current baseline for forensic biology and investigations scientifically. The student will also be able to describe different genetic variations and what makes them useful in a forensic context.

The summer school will be based on a series of lectures followed by individual and group exercises. Specialist within the specific forensic areas will come and present. Students will be presented to forensic casework examples. A substantial part of the course will be preparation of a group work presented on the last day of the course.

Scientific articles, manuals and protocols

BSc degree from the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen or similar.
Knowledge within basic cell biology and genetics.

Literature will be provided for self-studies before course-start.

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
The portfolio exam consists of the following: Evaluation of 1 written report and 2 oral presentations. The evaluation is based on an overall assesment of the two sub-parts.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See "Learning Outcome".

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Practical exercises
  • 26
  • Project work
  • 30
  • English
  • 206