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Find out how forensic scientists fingerprint feathers, foods and fabrics at Café Science Dundee

27 January 2016


Recovering fingerprints from tricky surfaces has proved to be one of the specialities of the forensic science team at Abertay University.

Last year they achieved a world-first when they recovered fingerprints from the feathers and eggs of birds of prey, and they made an exciting breakthrough in 2011 when they developed a technique to visualise fingerprints on fabrics – a notoriously difficult surface-type because of the way it is woven together.

In his Café Science talk on 8 February, Dr Kevin Farrugia – Lecturer in Forensic Science at Abertay University – will explore the importance of colour, contrast and different lighting techniques in visualising marks and residues on such surfaces.

He explains:

“People leave prints everywhere they go, but often they don’t realise that they do this because the prints aren’t always visible to the naked eye.

“This is because our eyes can only see a small section of the light spectrum, so we need to use other types of light and detectors to be able to visualise the important details – such as fingerprints and footwear marks – that we would otherwise miss.

“I’ll have some fantastic images to share which show how we can make these marks fluoresce, and there’ll be a chance for people to use some of the equipment we use in the forensic science labs at Abertay – such as goggles and torches – that will make the fingerprints and footwear marks come into sight before people’s eyes.”

The talk will take place at 7pm in Avery & Co, 34 South Tay Street on Monday 8 February.

Everyone welcome and entry is free. However, the event is non-bookable, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

For more information please visit:


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E:

Notes to Editors:

Café Science was launched in January 2008, and has attracted more than 6000 visitors since then. The monthly events are informal discussions led by leading local researchers that allow members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the ground-breaking science happening locally.

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