Peter Maskell

Senior Lecturer

  • 526 Citations
  • 11 h-Index
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Personal profile

Personal profile

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

Research 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


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.


Visting Lectureships

Visiting Senior Lecturer University of Huddersfield (2017 - Present)



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



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



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



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)


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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Peter Maskell is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Benzodiazepines Medicine & Life Sciences
blood Earth & Environmental Sciences
Pharmaceutical Preparations Medicine & Life Sciences
Blood Chemical Compounds
Thigh Medicine & Life Sciences
drug Earth & Environmental Sciences
Preclinical Drug Evaluations Medicine & Life Sciences
ethylphenidate Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2001 2019

Duty calls: the financial importance of accurate ABV measurement

Maskell, P. D., Walker, G. M. & Maskell, D. L., 12 Mar 2019, Brewer and Distiller International, 15, 3, p. 40-42 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article

Forensic Medicine
Rho Factor

Post-mortem diagnosis of kidney impairment: an experimental study

Maskell, P. D., Penney, E., Smith, P. R., Hikin, L. J. & Morley, S. R., 1 Aug 2019, In : Forensic Science International. 301, p. 271-277 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Glomerular Filtration Rate
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
1 Citation (Scopus)

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., 28 Feb 2019, In : Drug Testing and Analysis. 11, 2, p. 292-304 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Tissue Distribution

Uncertainty in Widmark calculations: ABV variation in packaged versions of the most popular beers in the UK

Reid, S., Maskell, P. D. & Maskell, D. L., 31 Mar 2019, In : Science & Justice. 59, 2, p. 210-213 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle