Dr Joanna Fraser


School School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Department Division of Science

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8264


Joanna came to Dundee in 2001 to study Access to Forensic Psychobiology at Dundee College. During this course she decided to apply for the Forensic Sciences degree course at Abertay University rather than the Forensic Psychobiology degree.

Joanna spent the next four years studying at Abertay University where she graduated from in 2006 with a 1st class honours in Forensic Sciences.

Upon graduating Joanna joined Abertay University as a Teaching Assistant in Forensic Sciences.

Joanna has now completed her PhD and is a full time lecturer

Professional Qualifications:

2014 PhD "Enhanced Techniques for Fingermark Recovery from Fabrics"

2006  BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science, Abertay University

2009 PGCert in Teaching & Learning

Professional Employment History:

2014 - Present  Lecturer, Abertay University

2010 - 2014 Teaching Fellow, Abertay University

2006 - 2010   Teaching Assistant, Abertay University

As a lecturer Joanna is involved in practical lab work for years one and three, as well as giving lectures to the first, third and fourth years involved in the Forensic Science areas of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, as well as being module tutor for FOR103 and FOR302.

Joanna is involved in the following undergraduate modules -

ELE008 - Inspire and Discover: Communicating Science

FOR103 - Introduction to Forensic Science, Practice and Techniques

FOR301 - Special Topics in Forensic Biology

FOR312 - Scene Examination and Management

FOR404 - Current Concepts in Forensic Biology

FOR410 - Project Research Methods

FOR411 - Honours Project

2014 - present

Joanna is currently working on the comparison of One-step and traditional superglue fuming techniques on fabric and plastics

2007 - 2014

Joanna's PhD involved joint research with the Home Office and SPA Dundee, working on the recovery of fingerprints on fabric using Vacuum Metal Deposition and Cyanoacrylate fuming techniques.


Joanna's 4th year project was entitled Forensic Entomology - The effect of temperature on Calliphora vicina larvae development.

This involved breeding maggots in different temperatures (15°C, 25°C & 45°C) to see the effect if any, these different temperatures had on the maggot's development.

This was interesting research, allowing many skills to be utilised, though the smell became quite unsavoury at times due to the environmental conditions and nutrients (pig liver) supplied from the maggots to feed on.

McPhee, N., Savage, A., Noton, N., Beattie, E., Milne, L., Fraser, J. (2018). A comparison of penetration and damage caused by different types of arrowheads on loose and tight fit clothing. Science & Justice, 58, pp:109-120.

Fraser, J. 2017. Oral presentation: Preliminary comparison of two-step versus one-step cyanoacrylates on fabric. CSFS Fingerprint Division, Manchester, 31 March – 1 April 2017. Manchester: Manchester Conference Centre.

Farrugia, K.J., Fraser, J., Friel, L., Adams, D., Attard-Montalto, N., Deacon, P. 2015. A comparison between atmospheric/humidity and vacuum cyanoacrylate fuming of latent fingermarks, Forensic Science International, 257, 54-70

Fraser, J., Deacon, P., Bleay, S. and Bremner, D. H. 2014. A comparison of the use of vacuum metal deposition versus cyanoacrylate fuming for visualisation of fingermarks and grab impressions on fabrics. Science and Justice, 54, pp: 133-140.

Farrugia, K.J., Deacon, P., Fraser, J. 2014. Evaluation of Lumicyano(TM) cyanoacrylate fuming process for the development of latent fingermarks on plastic carrier bags by means of a pseudo operational comparative trial. Science & Justice. 54, pp: 126-132.

Knighting S., Fraser J., Sturrock K., Deacon P., Bleay S., Bremner D. 2013.‘Visualisation of fingermarks and grab impressions on dark fabrics using silver vacuum metal deposition’, Science and Justice. 53, pp:309-314.

Fraser, J. 2012. Oral presentation: Fingerprint Recovery from Fabrics. 8th National FORREST conference, Dundee, July 26 - 28 2012. Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee

Fraser, J. 2012. Oral presentation: Fingerprint Recovery from Fabrics. The Fingerprint Society 37th Annual Educational Conference, Derbyshire, July 26 - 28 2012. Derbyshire: The Hayes Conference Centre

Fraser, J., Sturrock, K., Deacon, P., Bleay, S. & Bremner, D. H. 2012 Visualisation of fingermarks and grab impressions on fabrics. Part 1: gold/zinc vacuum metal deposition. Forensic Science International. 208 (1-3): pp. 74-78

Fraser, J & Sivewright, K. 2010. Oral presentation: Comparing the Comparisons. MMi Users Workshop Leeds Forensic Systems vs. Leica , Zurich, Switzerland, October 25 - October 26 2010.  Zurich: MMi Molecular Machines & Industries AG

Fraser, J. 2010. Oral presentation: Fingerprint Visualisation on Fabrics Utilising Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) and Cyanoacrylate Fuming (CAF) Techniques. The 20th International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences, Sydney, Australia, September 5 - September 9 2010. Sydney: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

Fraser, J. 2009. Poster presentation: Recovery of Fingerprints from Fabrics Using Vacuum Metal Deposition. Research Student Conference, Dundee, September 30 - October 1 2009. Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee

Fraser, J. 2009. Poster presentation: Recovery of Fingerprints from Fabrics Using Vacuum Metal Deposition. EAFS 2009 5th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, Glasgow, September 8 - 11 2009. Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee

Fraser, J. 2008. Poster presentation: The Recovery of Fingerprints from Fabrics Using Vacuum Metal Deposition. 4th National FORREST conference, Aberdeen, July 1 - 3 2008. Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee

Fraser, J. 2007. Poster presentation: The Effect of Temperature on Calliphora vicina Larvae Development. 3rd National FORREST Conference, Staffordshire University, September 5 - 7 2007. Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee.

More Information


Joanna's PhD was funded by University of Abertay Dundee

Joanna was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship in 2010

Joanna was awarded a Carnegie Trust grant in 2012


STEM Abassador 2006 - present

Associate of the Higher Education Academy 2008 - 2009

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2009 - present

Churchill Fellow 2010 - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (www.wcmt.org.uk)

Member of the Court of Guardians for The Royal Caledonian EducationTrust (http://www.rcet.org.uk/) 2010 - present

Associate Member of The Fingerprint Society 2012 - 2016

Member of CSFS Fingerprint Division (formally the Fingerprint Society) 2016- present

Professional Member of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences 2016 - present 

Member of The Institute of Science & Technology 2016 - present


Knowledge Exchange

Joanna's PhD and ongoing research involves consultation with both the Home Office and SPA Dundee

Athena SWAN Award self-assessment team (SAT) member for Abertay and for School of SET at Abertay


Joanna is a STEM abassador who was involved with the Space School when it was hosted by the University of Abertay Dundee (2008-2014) as well as school activity days at Abertay

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