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Forensic Science SA

Forensic Science SA (FSSA) provides independent, objective expert scientific opinions and evidence to the justice system and community of South Australia and undertakes a comprehensive range of forensic case work.   

FSSA groups


The pathology group is responsible for conducting post mortem examinations at the request of the State Coroner. Find out more about pathology.


Forensic biology involves the detection and identification of biological material on exhibits collected from a crime scene. Find out more about forensic biology.


The toxicology group analyses blood and other biological material for the presence of alcohol, pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in coronial, road traffic and criminal cases. Find out more about toxicology.


The chemistry group undertakes a broad range of analyses including those involving Illicit drugs, trace evidence and document examination. Find out more about FSSA chemistry.

What's new 

Forensic Science SA staff scoop the pools of the national 2017 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper Awards

Another outstanding result for FSSA in the 2017 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper awards with our staff winners in each award category. This follows similar successes in the previous two years with FSSA staff being awarded winners of 4 of the 5 categories in both 2016 and 2015.

Much of this work is conducted collaboratively with Flinders University or Adelaide University, clearly demonstrating the value and benefit of our ongoing close linkage with the university sector.

The category winner and highly commended submissions involving FSSA staff are listed below.



Duncan Taylor & David Powers.

Teaching artificial intelligence to read electropherograms.



Duncan Taylor, Damien Abarno, Emily Rowe & Lauren Rask-Nielsen.

Observations of DNA transfer within an operational Forensic Biology Laboratory.

Highly Commended

Kelly Olds, Roger Byard, Calle Winskog & Neil Langlois.

Validation of alternate light sources for detection of bruises in non-embalmed and embalmed cadavers.



Jared Castle, Danielle Butzbach, Stewart Walker, Claire Lenehan, Frank Reith & Paul Kirkbride.

Microbial impacts in postmortem toxicology.



Roger Byard, Ian Musgrave, Garth Maker & Michael Bunce.

What risks do herbal products pose to the Australian community?



Jackie Wright, Michaela Kenneally, John Edwards & Stewart Walker.

Adverse health effects associated with living in a former methamphetamine drug laboratory – Victoria, Australia 2015.

Understand the statistics behind forensic science

Watch Dr Duncan Taylor, Principal Forensic Scientist, FSSA, present to the ANZFSS SA Branch on how he is using mathematics and statistics to benefit forensic biology and the justice system of SA.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

See how Ted Silenieks is helping students at the Canberra Institute of Technology improve their Bloodstain Pattern Analysis knowledge.

Read more at the Canberra Institute of Technology

Trace physical evidence

Watch Kahlee Redman and Sharon Wilczek discuss the analysis of trace physical evidence collected from crime scenes on Season 4, Episode 23 of Scope

Future Forensics - crime scene to court room

Open State 2017

Watch the recorded live stream of the Future Forensics panel discussion facilitated by Natasha Mitchell, Australian science journalist and presenter of ABC RN’s Science Friction podcast and program with speakers:

  • Dion Sheppard, Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), New Zealand on 3D scanning of crime scenes
  • Professor Robin Palmer, University of Canterbury, New Zealand on forensic brain wave analysis
  • Professor Adrian Linacre, Flinders University on sourcing DNA from crime scenes
  • Dr Duncan Taylor, Forensic Science SA on using artificial intelligence to analyse evidence
  • Liesl Chapman, SC on the ethics, barriers and legal considerations that surround these technologies.

Dr Duncan Taylor, Forensic Science SA, winner of the 2017 STEM Professional award

2017 SA Science Excellence Awards  

Watch the video of Dr Taylor talking about his work.

Forensic Science Centre receives architecture award

Enduring Architecture Jack Cheesman Award

South Australian Forensic Science Centre  – SA Public Buildings Department, Government of South Australia

Blood alcohol certificates 

A blood sample taken under the Road Traffic Act is tested for alcohol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, methylamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

Analyses are performed and certificates posted to the driver generally within 3 weeks, depending on when the sample is transported to FSSA. 

Watch videos about Forensic Science SA

Inside look into FSSA's high tech crime fighting success -  7 News Adelaide

RiAus interviewed several FSSA staff from each of our sections about their jobs.

These videos can be viewed on YouTube:

Quick links