Dr Peter Maskell

Senior Lecturer

School School of Applied Sciences

Department Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8632

Biography

I started my career as a Pharmacologist and have significant experience of working in forensic toxicology both in industry and academia. I hold a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and a PhD in GABAA receptors (which influence cognition). 

I joined Abertay in 2017 from the University of Huddersfield where I was a Senior Lecturer in forensic toxicology.  I’ve held academic positions at the University of Dundee, the University of Bristol, the University of Birmingham and Oxford Brookes University. 

As a Case Active Forensic Toxicologist at the University of Dundee, I was responsible for quality management of the forensic toxicology laboratory that provided analysis of post-mortem samples in unexplained death cases under contract from the Scottish Crown Office.

My research is focused on post-mortem drug redistribution, novel psychoactive substances - particularly benzodiazepines, uncertainty of measurement in forensic science and the interpretation of forensic toxicology results using Bayesian statistics.

I’m a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Chemist,a Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists, LTG, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. 

I’m also actively involved in public science events and recently won the RSC Molecules zone on I'm a Scientist Get Me Out of Here – an X-Factor style competition between scientists, judged by students.

Peter teaches chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology and forensic casework on a varity of modules:-

ELE006 - Global Change

ELE020 - Forensic Investigation

LSC101 - Biology Principles and Practice

ENV101 - Introduction to environmental Sciences

FOR201 - Advanced Chemical Process

FOR212 - Investigative Analytical Science

FOR310 - Pharmacology and Toxicology

LSC401 - Project Research Methods

LSC402 - Honours Project (Biomedical Sciences)

FOR410 - Forensic Science Project

Interests

Current research areas:-

His research is focussed on post-mortem drug redistribution, novel psychoactive substances (particularly benzodiazepines), uncertainty of measurement in forensic science and the the interpretation of forensic toxicology results using bayesian statistics. 

I am currently supervising 2 PhD projects:

1) Is the bladder a site of post-mortem redistribution?

2) Physicochemical properties and metabolism of new psychoactive substances

2019

Post-mortem diagnosis of kidney impairment

Maskell, P. D., Penney, E., Smith, P. R., Hikin, L. J. & Morley, S. R. (2019) Post-mortem diagnosis of kidney impairment. . . p. 271-277. .
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Duty calls

Maskell, P. D., Walker, G. M. & Maskell, D. L. (2019) Duty calls. . . p. 40-42. . IBD: London.
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2018

Letter to the editor

Maskell, P. D. & Scott-Ham, M. (2018) Letter to the editor. . . p. 1933-1933. .
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Use of the Randox Evidence Investigator immunoassay system for near-body drug screening during post-mortem examination in 261 forensic cases

McLaughlin, P., Maskell, P. D., Pounder, D. J. & Osselton, D. (2018) Use of the Randox Evidence Investigator immunoassay system for near-body drug screening during post-mortem examination in 261 forensic cases. . . p. 211-215. .
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Postmortem tissue distribution of morphine and its metabolites in a series of heroin related deaths

Maskell, P. D., Wilson, N. E., Seetohul, L. N., Crichton, M. L., Beer, L. J., Drummond, G. & De Paoli, G. (2018) Postmortem tissue distribution of morphine and its metabolites in a series of heroin related deaths. . . p. 292-304. .
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Evidence based survey of the distribution volume of ethanol

Maskell, P. D., Jones, A. W., Savage, A. & Scott-Ham, M. (2018) Evidence based survey of the distribution volume of ethanol. . . p. 124-131. .
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Uncertainty in Widmark calculations

Reid, S., Maskell, P. D. & Maskell, D. L. (2018) Uncertainty in Widmark calculations. . . p. 210-213. .
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Experimental versus theoretical log D7.4, pKa and plasma protein binding values for benzodiazepines appearing as new psychoactive substances

Manchester, K. R., Maskell, P. D. & Waters, L. (2018) Experimental versus theoretical log D7.4, pKa and plasma protein binding values for benzodiazepines appearing as new psychoactive substances. . . p. 1258-1269. .
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Designer benzodiazepines

Maskell, P. D. & Wilson, N. E. (2018) Designer benzodiazepines. In: Handbook of novel psychoactive substances : what clinicians should know about NPS. Corazza, O. (ed.), Roman-Urrestarazu, A. (ed.). 1st ed., p. 342-363. . Routledge.
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The influence of alcohol content variation in UK packaged beers on the uncertainty of calculations using the Widmark equation

Maskell, P. D., Holmes, C., Huismann, M., Reid, S., Carr, M., Jones, B. J. & Maskell, D. L. (2018) The influence of alcohol content variation in UK packaged beers on the uncertainty of calculations using the Widmark equation. . . p. 271-275. .
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Erratum to The emergence of new psychoactive substance (NPS) benzodiazepines

Manchester, K. R., Lomas, E. C., Waters, L., Dempsey, F. C. & Maskell, P. D. (2018) Erratum to The emergence of new psychoactive substance (NPS) benzodiazepines. . . p. 392-393. .
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2017

Forensic science education

Cassella, J. P., Maskell, P. D. & Williams, A. (2017) Forensic science education. In: Forensic science education and training : a tool-kit for lecturers and practitioner trainers. Williams, A. (ed.), Cassella, J. (ed.), Maskell, P. (ed.). p. 1-18. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
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The future of forensic science education

Cassella, J. P., Williams, A. & Maskell, P. D. (2017) The future of forensic science education. In: Forensic science education and training: a tool-kit for lecturers and practitioner trainers. Williams, A. (ed.), Cassella, J. (ed.), Maskell, P. (ed.). p. 301-310. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
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Forensic science education and training

Williams, A., Cassella, J. P. & Maskell, P. D. (2017) Forensic science education and training. . . Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
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The science of responsible drinking

Maskell, P. D. (2017) The science of responsible drinking. In: Proceedings of the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference 2017: local roots; global reach: delivering distilling expertise to the world. Jack, F. (ed.), Dabrowska, D. (ed.), Davies, S. (ed.), Garden, M. (ed.), Maskell, D. (ed.), Murray, D. (ed.). 1st ed., p. 359-362. Packington: Context.
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Improving uncertainty in Widmark equation calculations

Maskell, P. D., Speers, R. A. & Maskell, D. L. (2017) Improving uncertainty in Widmark equation calculations. . . p. 321-330. .
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The emergence of new psychoactive substance (NPS) benzodiazepines

Manchester, K. R., Lomas, E. C., Waters, L., Dempsey, F. C. & Maskell, P. D. (2017) The emergence of new psychoactive substance (NPS) benzodiazepines. . . p. 37-53. .
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The use of a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model to predict GABA-A receptor binding of newly emerging benzodiazepines

Waters, L., Manchester, K. R., Maskell, P. D., Haegeman, C. & Haider, S. (2017) The use of a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model to predict GABA-A receptor binding of newly emerging benzodiazepines. . . p. 219-225. .
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2016

Reporting two fatalities associated with the use of 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC) and a review of the literature

Smith, P. R., Cole, R., Hamilton, S., West, K., Morley, S. R. & Maskell, P. D. (2016) Reporting two fatalities associated with the use of 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC) and a review of the literature. . . p. 553-560. .
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2015

Seven fatalities associated with ethylphenidate

Maskell, P. D., Smith, P. R., Cole, R., Hikin, L. & Morley, S. R. (2015) Seven fatalities associated with ethylphenidate. . . p. 70-74. .
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Phenazepam

Lomas, E. C. & Maskell, P. D. (2015) Phenazepam. . . p. 61-62. .
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Nefopam hydrochloride

Nitin Seetohul, L., De Paoli, G., Drummond, G. & Maskell, P. D. (2015) Nefopam hydrochloride. . . p. 486-489. .
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Volatile substance abuse

Seetohul, L. N., De Paoli, G. & Maskell, P. D. (2015) Volatile substance abuse. . . p. 415. .
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2014

Postmortem redistribution of the heroin metabolites morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide in rabbits over 24 h

Maskell, P. D., Albeishy, M., De Paoli, G., Wilson, N. E. & Seetohul, L. N. (2014) Postmortem redistribution of the heroin metabolites morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide in rabbits over 24 h. . . p. 519-531. .
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Analysis of phenazepam and 3-hydroxyphenazepam in post-mortem fluids and tissues

Crichton, M. L., Shenton, C. F., Drummond, G., Beer, L. J., Seetohul, L. N. & Maskell, P. D. (2014) Analysis of phenazepam and 3-hydroxyphenazepam in post-mortem fluids and tissues. . . p. 926-936. .
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When is a beer not a beer

Maskell, P. D., Hughes, P. S. & Maskell, D. L. (2014) When is a beer not a beer. . . p. 160. .
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2013

Stability of 3,4-methylenedioxymethampetamine (MDMA), 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and 3-trifluromethylphenylpiperazine (3-TFMPP) in formalin solution

Maskell, P. D., Seetohul, L. N., Livingstone, A. C., Cockburn, A. K., Preece, J. & Pounder, D. J. (2013) Stability of 3,4-methylenedioxymethampetamine (MDMA), 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and 3-trifluromethylphenylpiperazine (3-TFMPP) in formalin solution. . . p. 440-446. .
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Biomarkers for illicit heroin

Nitin Seetohul, L., Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G. & Pounder, D. J. (2013) Biomarkers for illicit heroin. . . p. 133-133. .
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2012

Deaths associated with new designer drug 5-IT

Seetohul, L. N., Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G. & Pounder, D. J. (2012) Deaths associated with new designer drug 5-IT. . . .
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Real-time near-body drug screening during autopsy I

McLaughlin, P., Pounder, D., Maskell, P. & Osselton, D. (2012) Real-time near-body drug screening during autopsy I. . . p. 113-118. .
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Phenazepam

Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G., Nitin Seetohul, L. & Pounder, D. J. (2012) Phenazepam. . . p. 122-125. .
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Meptazinol and ethanol

Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G. L., Seetohul, N. & Pounder, D. J. (2012) Meptazinol and ethanol. . . p. 69-73. .
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2011

Phenazepam is currently being misused in the UK

Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G., Seetohul, L. N. & Pounder, D. J. (2011) Phenazepam is currently being misused in the UK. . . .
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Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone)-related deaths

Maskell, P. D., De Paoli, G., Seneviratne, C. & Pounder, D. J. (2011) Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone)-related deaths. . . p. 188-191. .
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Naphyrone

De Paoli, G., Maskell, P. D. & Pounder, D. J. (2011) Naphyrone. . . p. 93. .
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2006

Adrenaline increases carotid body CO2 sensitivity

Maskell, P. D., Rusius, C. J., Whitehead, K. J. & Kumar, P. (2006) Adrenaline increases carotid body CO2 sensitivity. In: The arterial chemoreceptors. . p. 245-250. . Springer New York.
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2005

Carbon dioxide sensitivity during hypoglycaemia-induced, elevated metabolism in the anaesthetized rat

Bin-Jaliah, I., Maskell, P. D. & Kumar, P. (2005) Carbon dioxide sensitivity during hypoglycaemia-induced, elevated metabolism in the anaesthetized rat. . . p. 883-893. .
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2004

Indirect sensing of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia by the carotid body in the rat

Bin-Jaliah, I., Maskell, P. D. & Kumar, P. (2004) Indirect sensing of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia by the carotid body in the rat. . . p. 255-266. .
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2003

Inhibition of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by open channel blockers of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors

Maskell, P. D., Speder, P., Newberry, N. R. & Bermudez, I. (2003) Inhibition of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by open channel blockers of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. . . p. 1313-1319. .
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2002

Halogenated cytisine derivatives as agonists at human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes

Slater, Y. E., Houlihan, L. M., Maskell, P. D., Exley, R., Bermúdez, I., Lukas, R. J., Valdivia, A. C. & Cassels, B. K. (2002) Halogenated cytisine derivatives as agonists at human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. . . p. 503-515. .
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2001

Effects of γ-HCH and δ-HCH on human recombinant GABAA receptors

Maskell, P. D., Wafford, K. A. & Bermudez, I. (2001) Effects of γ-HCH and δ-HCH on human recombinant GABAA receptors. . . p. 205-212. .
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More Information

Funding

PhD Studentship (2015)
University of Huddersfield, School Studentship
Competitively awarded fully funded PhD studentship to investigate the physicochemical properties of new psychoactive substances (£60,000)

Home Office CAST/Ocean Optics Road Side Drug Testing (2014)
Grant for the investigation of novel methods for non-invasive determination of drug blood levels at the roadside (£50,000)

Equipment grant (2014)
University of Huddersfield, Faculty Equipment Award
Competitively awarded £27,000 to purchase an HPLC-DAD to study in vitro postmortem redistribution and drug metabolism.

PhD Studentship (2013)
University of Huddersfield, School Studentship
Awarded fully funded PhD studentship to investigate the Post-mortem redistribution (£60,000)

Pharmacology Pre-practical Quiz development (2009)
University of Bristol, AIMS/CETL
Jointly awarded £16,000 to pay for a 6 month teaching assistant post to develop pre-practical quizzes for Pharmacology practicals for Pharmacology Level 1, Level 2, Medic and Dental Practicals. The quizzes are now used across the department.

Research Grant (2005)
Scientific Projects Committee, The Medical School. University of Birmingham (£2,500). 1 Year
investigation of the CO2/Proton sensitivity of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

Esteem

Esteem

Visting Lectureships

Visiting Senior Lecturer University of Huddersfield (2017 - Present)

 

Awards

Winner RSC Molecules zone. I'm a scientist get me out of here

 

Affiliations

Chartered Chemist

Chartered Scientist

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Professional Member of United Kindon and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists (UKIAFT)

Member of London Toxicology Group (LTG)

Member of Society of Forensic Toxicologist

Member of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists

 

Reviewing

Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Drug Testing and Analysis

Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology

Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental

Abstract reviewer for Sofiety of Forensic Toxicology Annual Meeting 

Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow Awards

Athena SWAN Panel Member

 

Examiner

MSc Forensic Toxicology (Bournmouth Univeristy)

2 PhD Thesis (External Examiner)

1 PhD Thesis (Internal Examiner)

 

Invited Talks

Worldwide Distilled Spirits (2017). The Science of Sensible Drinking.

Public Lecture Series Hudderflield (2016). Murder or Sucide: The role of Forensic Toxicology in Death Investigations.

UKIAFT main meeting (2014).  Postmortem redistribution.

Nottingham Trent University (2014) -  Toxicology of phenazepam

University of Exeter (2014) - Translational Science Seminars

British Pharmacological Society winter meeting (2007).  The use of Human Patient Simulators in Pharmacology undergraduate teaching.

 

Conference organisation

UKIAFT Annual Meeting (Manchester 2016) - Organising Commitee Chair

TIAFT Annual Meeting (Birmingham 2019) - Organising Commitee Member (Corporate Liason)

Outreach

Outreach

I am regularly involved in outreach. I speak at local schools and colleges, I also take part in public science events (such as science week). I won the RSC Molecules zone for I'm a scientist get me out of here.

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Sheila Cunningham

Dr Sheila Cunningham

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Senior Lecturer

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Mr Darren Phillips

Mr Darren Phillips

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Lecturer

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