• 157 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
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Personal profile

Personal profile

Kevin obtained a joint B.Sc.(Hons) in chemistry and physics from the University of Malta in 2005. He then spent one year working in drug research and chemistry development for cancer inhibition molecules with Novartis in Switzerland. In 2006 he arrived in Scotland and gained a M.Sc. in forensic science from the University of Strathclyde a year later. He started a PhD in forensic science in 2008 at the University of Strathclyde with funding from the Centre of Applied Science and Technology (previously known as the Home Office Scientific Development Branch) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. His research focused on the chemical enhancement of footwear impressions on fabric. He joined the University of Abertay Dundee in July 2011 after successful completion of the PhD. He is actively involved in research into the enhancement of latent marks (e.g. fingermarks and footwear marks), analysis of street drug samples for intelligence purposes and an integrated approach for multiple types of evidence. 


Kevin is mainly involved with teaching of chemistry modules as well as the chemistry of marks and impressions. 

He is also responsible for the running of the forensic final year projects.

Research interests

B.Sc. Hons Project: Determination of the Presence of Ignitable Liquids on the Clothing of Simulated Arson Suspects. This project utilised a GC-FID and GC-MS to detect trace amounts of ignitable liquids on clothing.

M.Sc. Project: Distinguishing Pepper Sprays from Condiment Hot Sauces. As part of the M.Sc. placement, Kevin did this research project at the Centre of Forensic Science within the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of the Ontario Government in Toronto, Canada. The purpose of the project was to determine if hot sauce stains can be differentiated from pepper spray stains on clothing.

PhD Research: An Evaluation of Enhancement Techniques for Footwear Impressions made on Fabric. This research focused on the recovery, enhancement and lifting of footwear impressions from fabric. This research provided a better insight on fabric as a substrate since it is a difficult surface for the application of chemicals due to background staining and fabric properties.

My research interests include the chemical development of fingerprints and footwear marks and analytical analysis of evidence such as drugs and ink.


Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

2015-6: £3000 for a project titled "The effect of mark enhancement techniques on the subsequent detection of blood"


Carnegiet Trust Undergraduate Vacational Scholarship

Students working over the summer break

2013 - Rory Simmons - Comparison of Oil Red O and Physical Developer for developing finger marks

2014 - Shannah Smith - Method development for the determination of herbal cannabis potency

2015 - Vanessa Stewart - A Pseudo Operational Comparative Trial into the Development of Latent Fingermarks Using Two-Step and One-Step Cyanoacrylate Fuming Methods.


Nuffield Foundation

2014 - Duncan Adams - A comparison between atmospheric/humidity and vacuum cyanoacrylate fuming of latent fingermarks



2015: New forensic fuming cabinet worth £4000 for Abertay thanks to one of our projects winning a competition



2014-5: Six month loan of a £40,000 Olympus opto-digital microscope



2013-4: Consumables for student projects worth £1500



Chartered Chemist

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Member of the International Association of Identification

Member of the Fingerprint Society

Member of the International Fingerprint Research Group

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Editorial Board

Journal of Forensic Identification


Peer-review Journals Reviewer

Analytical Chemistry

Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences

Forensic Chemistry

Forensic Science International

Journal of Forensic Identification

Science & Justice

External Examiner

DeMontfort University

Knowledge and Exchange


Royal Society of Chemistry

Forensic Science Society

International Association of Identification

Fingerprint Society


The Abertay Science Road Show
Abertay University delivers a Science roadshow to more than 20 local secondary schools and I have been involved with this over the last 4 years. The roadshow’s aim is to promote science into the next generation as well as to promote Abertay’s science courses. In addition to the above I have also supported and participated in various other events targeted at local schools and the general public such as the Tayside Space School.

Artist in residence
My research inspired a world-wide call out to arts practitioners to carry out a period of intensive investigation in the forensic labs at Abertay. The outcome of the residency was a highly engaging exhibition at the Hannah Maclure Centre, titled “Proof”.


Dundee Science Centre
I started a relationship with the local science centre soon after joining Abertay. I participated in a course titled “Create and Inspire” in early 2012 to develop skills and confidence in public engagement and pitching scientific concepts to the local community. I have regularly participated in other outreach events organised by the Dundee Science Centre, the most recent being “Meet the Expert in Forensic Science” held at Dundee University to engage with the public about the truth of forensic science investigations.

Café Science Dundee
Invited to present an informal talk to the general public in Dundee in relation to my current research

Other research news

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2010 2019

  • 157 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
  • 25 Article
  • 1 Exhibition
environmental effect
environmental conditions
bird of prey
1 Citation (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)

An alternative carrier solvent for fingermark enhancement reagents

Olszowska, I., Deacon, P., Maurice, L., Lesniewski, A., Niedziolka-Jonsson, J. & Farrugia, K., Mar 2018, In : Forensic Science International. 284, p. 53-64 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Global Warming
Validation Studies
European Union

The effect of cyanoacrylate fuming on subsequent protein stain enhancement of fingermarks in blood

Mutter, N., Deacon, P. & Farrugia, K. J., 30 Nov 2018, In : Journal of Forensic Identification. 68, 4, p. 545-556 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Coloring Agents
Acetic Acid

The effect of mark enhancement techniques on the presumptive and confirmatory tests for blood

Stewart, V., Deacon, P., Zahra, N., Uchimoto, M. & Farrugia, K. J., 30 Nov 2018, In : Science and Justice. 58, 6, p. 386-396 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

hematologic tests

A review of one-step fluorescent cyanoacrylate techniques

Stewart, V., Deacon, P. & Farrugia, K. J., 1 Oct 2016, In : Fingerprint Whorld. 41, 162

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
fluorescent dyes