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Awards and Research

FSSA conducts research and development and staff publish in scientific and medical journals.

2020 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper Awards

Best New Publisher in a Refereed Journal


Examining the additivity of peak heights in forensic DNA profiles. Kevin Cheng, Jo-Anne Bright, Zane Kerr, Duncan Taylor, Anne Ciecko, James Curran and John Buckleton. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2020, 1-15.

Best Case Study


Environmental methamphetamine exposures and health effects in 25 case studies. Jackie Wright, Michaela Kenneally, Kirstin Ross and Stewart Walker. Toxics 8.3 (2020): 61.

Best Technical Article or Note

High Commended

Assessment of the Yfiler® Plus PCR amplification kit for the detection of male DNA in semen-negative sexual assault cases. Julianne Henry and Lenara Scandrett. Science & Justice 59 (2019) 480-485.

Best Paper – Capability Enhancement and Innovation


Using Bayesian networks to track DNA movement through complex transfer scenarios. Duncan Taylor, Lydie Samie and Christophe Champod. Forensic Science International: Genetics 42 (2019) 69-80.

Best Paper – Forensic Fundamentals


Investigating the position and level of DNA transfer to undergarments during digital sexual assault. Phola Ramos, Oliva Handt and Duncan Taylor. Forensic Science International: Genetics 47 (2020) 102316.

2019 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper Awards

Best paper in a referred journal


Andrew Camilleri, Damien Abarno, Carolyne Bird, Anne Coxon, Natasha Mitchell, Kahlee Redman, Nicol Sly, Stephen Wills, Edmund Silenieks, Ellie Simpson and Heather Lindsay - A risk-based approach to cognitive bias in forensic science.

Highly commended

Duncan Taylor, James Curran and John Buckleton - Likelihood ratio development for mixed Y-STR profiles.

Kelsey Seyfang, Nick Lucas, Kahlee Redman, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff, Hilton Kobus and Paul Kirkbride - Glass-containing gunshot residues and particles of industrial and occupational origins: Considerations for evaluating GSR traces.

Best technical article or note


Duncan Taylor, Emily Rowe, Maarten Kruijver, Damien Abarno, Jo-Anne Bright and John Buckleton - Inter-sample contamination detection using mixture deconvolution comparison.

Best literature review

Highly commended

Duncan Taylor, Bas Kokshoorn and Alex Biedermann - Evaluation of forensic genetics findings given activity level propositions: A review.

​​Best case study


Emma Partridge, Stephen Trobbiani, Peter Stockham, Cheryl Charlwood and Chris Kostakis -  A case study involving U-47700, Diclazepam and Flubromazepam - application of retrospective analysis of HRMS data.

Highly Commended

Christine Nash, Danielle Butzbach, Peter Stockham, Timothy Scott, Greg Abroe, Ben Painter, John Gilbert and Chris Kostakis - A fatality involving furanylfentanyl and MMMP, with presumptive identification of three MMMP metabolites in urine.

2018 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognises 'graduates who have distinguished themselves either through a significant contribution to the University or the their wider community with the state, nation or internationally in their chosen field'.

Duncan was awarded due to his 'significant contribution to the field of forensic evidence and, in particular, to the development of DNA interpretation software which has had a considerable impact on the discipline of evidence interpretation and consequently on the provision of justice'.

2018 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper Awards 

Best paper in a refereed journal

Winners - Jo-Anne Bright, Rebecca Richards, Maarten Kruijver, Hannah Kelly, Catherine McGovern et al (Duncan Taylor), Internal validation of STRmixTM – A multi laboratory response to PCAST.

Highly Commended

Fiona Bright, Robert Vink, Roger Byard, Jhodie Duncan, Henry Krous and David Paterson , Abnormalities in substance P neurokinin-1 receptor binding in key brainstem nuclei in sudden infant death syndrome related to prematurity and sex.

Duncan Taylor, Alex Biedermann, Tacha Hicks and Christophe Champod, A template for constructing Bayesian networks in forensic biology cases when considering activity level propositions.

Best chapter in a book

Winners - Fiona Bright, Robert Vink and  Roger Byard, Brainstem neuropathology in sudden infant death syndrome.

Best case study

Winners - Amanda Freeman and Stephen Wills, Fatal methemoglobinemia complicating alkaptonuria (ochronosis): a rare presentation.

Highly commended - Duncan Taylor, Oliva Handt, Damien Abarno and John Buckleton, Likelihood ratio formulae for disputed parentage when the product of conception is trisomic.

2018 John Harbour Phillips Award 

Roger Byard

This is awarded every two years to 'an exceptional individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and excellence in the advancement of the forensic sciences in Australia and/or New Zealand.'

2018 Royal Australian College of Pathologists Distinguished Fellow Award

Distinguished Fellow Award

Winner - Professor Roger Byard, AO, PSM, Conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions to pathology and to the medical and wider community through practice, leadership, involvement and advocacy across a broad range of areas.

Meritorious Service Award

Winner  - Dr Neil Langlois

2017 ANZPAA NIFS Best Paper Awards

Best paper in a Refereed Journal

Winner - Duncan Taylor and David Powers, Teaching artificial intelligence to electropherograms.

Best technical article or note

Winner - Duncan Taylor, Damien Abarno, Emily Rowe and Lauren Rask-Nielsen, Observations of DNA transfer within an operational Forensic Biology Laboratory.

Highly commended - Kelly Olds, Roger Byard, Calle Winskog & Neil Langlois, Microbial impacts in postmortem toxicology.

Best chapter in a book

Winner - Roger Byard, Ian Musgrave, Garth Maker & Michael Bunce, What risks do herbal products pose to the Australian community?

Best case study

Winner - Jackie Wright, Michaela Kenneally, John Edwards & Stewart Walker, Adverse health effects associated with living in a former methamphetamine drug laboratory – Victoria, Australia 2015.

2017 Science Excellence Awards

STEM Professional

Winner - Dr Duncan Taylor   - Watch Dr Duncan Taylor talking about his work (video).

2017 FSSA Ross Vining Awards
Professor Ross Vining was Director of Forensic Science SA from 2008 -2012 before he tragically died when he was flying the light plane he built crashed over a very remote part of northern Australia.

Ross made an indelible impression on FSSA during his time as director. He will always be missed and remembered by staff. Our state of the art conference facilities and our annual awards ceremony have been named in his memory.

Foundation/Infrastructure Award

Winner - Jennifer Zuffi, Bronwen Keelan, Santina Poritz, Cheryl Ceasar, Emily Bellinger and Melissa Summers for their role in the successful transition at FSSA to receiving evidence through the SAPOL Evidence Desk.

Customer Service/Public Relations Award

Winner - Michaela Kenneally for her work on hair samples taken from two sexual assault victims and preparing for court, commenting on a defence statement and presenting evidence in the trial.

Professor Hilton Kobus Research Award

Winner - Matthew Cox, Ben Painter, Clark Nash and Paul Pigou for research into methods of manufacture of illicit drugs, and publishing of 10 papers in international, peer-reviewed journals in the last year.

Justice Ted Mullighan Outstanding Case Award

Winner - Liz Ockleshaw for her tireless work and presentation of evidence in the large and multi-faceted SA Health bogus death threats case involving Tabitha Lean and Simon Peisley.

Special Awards

Winner - Penny Kostakis for validating and implementing the Perkin Elmer Janus Liquid Handling Platform (LHP) for the fully automated analysis of Drugs in Oral Fluid. This is the first LHP introduced into a forensic toxicology laboratory in Australia.

Winner - Emma Partridge, Stephen Trobbiani and Peter Stockham for the development of strategic capabilities for the detection and the exchange of contemporary information relating to New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

Related information

Email us at forensicadministration [at] sa.gov.au (subject: Request%20for%20information%20about%20FSSA%20research) for more information about current research.