OCGC Seminar - Isotopes in Forensic Sciences: From Erin Brockovich to CSI


Dr. David Widory
Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère,
Université du Québec à Montréal


 Thursday, October 30th, 2014
11:30 a.m.

233 Advanced Research Complex (ARC)
University of Ottawa  


Although most of the substances of forensic interest, either criminalistic or environmental, can easily be identified using the current physical/chemical instrumental techniques, such as FT-IR, XRF, SEM/EDX, HPLC-MS, GC-MS…, it is generally not possible to distinguish one source of the same substance from another, let alone its corresponding geographic origin. 

To alleviate this difficulty, recent studies have unambiguously demonstrated the added value of using both stable and radiogenic isotopes. 

This presentation will try to cover the broadest range of forensic applications aided by isotope systematics, including 1) tracing the source/origin of various types of contaminants in the Environment (air, water and soil), 2) detecting food and drink fraud, 3) sports doping, 4) human geographic attributions and 5) explosive characterisation.