Glyndwr University


Forensic Investigation Conference: Search and Identification

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May 2017 

9.00am - 4.00pm both days


Nick Whitehead Theatre (main University foyer), Wrexham, Glyndwr University, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW

Wrexham Glyndwr University and UK-K9 are jointly organising the first Forensic Investigation Conference to be held at the University. The two day conference will include a number of speakers who all specialise in different aspects of Forensic Investigation with special focuses on Search or Identification. As well as covering aspects on fire, explosives and drugs investigation there will be strong focus on the use of cadaver dogs in both land and water searches. A number of case studies will be presented covering human identification, decomposition and how forensic investigation can be enhanced by future research and collaboration. Alongside the presentations there will be a student poster conference displaying current research in forensic science, and the programme will also include search demonstrations with the dogs.

Programme 2


David Jones, UK-K9

David has over 35 years’ experience with Mountain Rescue in the United Kingdom and was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. David did 15 years as a Search & Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA) Dog Handler/Instructor/Assessor. He has been involved in the training of Search Dogs for countries including USA, Japan, Russia, Croatia, Hong Kong, Turkey, Spain, Switzerland, Malaysia, and more recently in Jamaica and Oman. He has also spent the past 21 years working with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service including introducing Search & Rescue Dogs and Search Management to their service. David has been involved in humanitarian work in countries including Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Mozambique. He is a Qualified Submerged Water Search Dog Handler, Cadaver Search Dog Handler and a Certified NASDU Trainer Instructor as well as a National Training Inspectorate Trainer Instructor. Over the years he has been the lead course assessor for Submerged Body Detection course for Guardia Civil in Spain; acted as a Technical Advisor for the current Saddleworth Moor search and between 2008 and 2011 he took part in human remains/cadaver search for the Commission for the Disappeared (Ireland). In 2010 and 2011 David was the Lead Instructor for both Disaster search dogs for the Malaysian Fire Brigade  and the lead Instructor on the Helicopter familiarisation course with the Malaysian Search & Rescue Service. Since 2014 David has been involved in training students on the NASDU affiliated Cadaver Detection and Submerged Victim Detection Dog and Handler course.

Amy Rattenbury, Wrexham Glyndŵr University

Amy holds a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Biology from Staffordshire University and an MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation from Bradford University. Prior to joining Wrexham Glyndŵr University in 2016 she was a Programme Leader on a BSc (Hons) in Criminology & Forensic Investigation in Essex as well as having worked in a number of other colleges and UKAS accredited laboratories. Amy’s specialises in the technique of search, recovery and identification and she has substantive experience working with human skeletal remains. She is a consultant for Kenyon International Emergency Services working in search, location and disaster victim identification. Her current focus is in the area of forensic taphonomy and more specifically the impact of decomposition on identification techniques but she also has broader interests in cold case review, buried and concealed evidence.

Tricia Foley MBE, North Wales Police

Tricia has 28 years’ of experience in crime scene investigation and transferred from Greater Manchester Police to North Wales Police in 2003 where she is the Scientific Support Performance Manager in the Crime Services Division. In 2004 Tricia was part of the UK National Disaster Victim Identification Team deployed to Thailand in response to the tsunami. Throughout her career she has worked on a number of high profile and complex murder investigations. This has included crime scene managing the forensic examination of the home address of Mark Bridger in the April Jones murder enquiry on behalf of Dyfed Powys Police. In 2014 Tricia was awarded an MBE for services to Policing in relation to Major Crime Investigations.

Gavin Roberts, UK-K9

Gavin has been involved in training specialist search dogs since 2003 and in 2006 he was one of the first civilians in Wales to qualify as a Human Remains and Cadaver detection dog handler. Gavin’s operational experience includes working on human remains and cadaver search in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicester in 2007. In 2008 he was tasked along with his dog Gelert on a human remains and cadaver search in Northern France. He has also been involved in missing person searches in North Wales and La Palma (Spain) and he was also involved in human remains and cadaver search for the Commission for the Disappeared (Ireland) between 2008 and 2011 and worked alongside David Jones on the Saddleworth search. As a result of his achievements and experiences in this work he was invited in 2009 to be a key speaker at the International Commission for Alpine Rescue Dog Handlers Conference in Croatia. Gavin’s training experience includes being the dog section leader at Global Rescue Services from 2006 - 2011, sharing his experience and training with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Association in 2007, supporting and assisting in the training of Water Search Dogs and handlers for Sarbot UK in Trent Lock (Nottinghamshire) 2013. Gavin has been a NASDU affiliated trainer since 2014 and as an instructor for UK-K9 including providing training for Jamaican Defence Force in 2015.

David Peplow

David is a retired Fire Service Officer and has 35 years of service training Fire Investigation dogs. He established “Specialist Canine Services (SCS) International” in 2000, specialising in the training and operational deployment of Fire Investigation Dogs and Urban Search Dogs. David has been contracted to the UK (North West Area) Fire Services to provide fire investigation dog services throughout the North West of England where he has attended in the region of 80-100 fire scene investigations per year from September 2000 to April 2015. David has been a speaker at numerous international seminars and conferences including the inaugural Specialist Search Dog Conference in Barcelona in 2008. He has been a provider of Fire Investigation Dogs to 10 of the UK Fire Services having provided Dog & Handler Training for Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire, Avon & Somerset, West Sussex, Merseyside, East Sussex, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services. David has also acted as a specialist consultant since 2002 for the Malaysian Fire Service, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service – International Training Centre, The University of Central Lancashire, Hong Kong Police Force, Merseyside, Hereford & Worcester, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and West Midlands Fire Services.

Steve Dineley

Steve has 11 years of experience with the military with operational tours in Northern ireland, Iraq and Afganistan and more Since leaving the Army in 2005 Steve has worked for a number of organisations all specialising in K9 training specifically with regards to explosives and drugs detection as well as working as a firefighter with mid and west wales fire and rescue service since 2015. Steve is a qualified National Association of Security Dog Users (NASDU) instructor for Level 2 & 3 GP, Passive and Proactive Drugs and Explosive search dogs. He has been involved in operational searches and tracking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and as a Tracker Dog Instructor at the Jungle Warfare Training School in Brunei. Steve is also a specialist canine and search advisor.

Agathe Ribereau-Gayon, University College London

Agathe is a PhD researcher in Forensic Anthropology at the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences and Institute of Archaeology with an MPhil in Biological Anthropology and an MSc in Forensic Archaeology. Her research focuses on the study of human decomposition (or forensic taphonomy) with a strong focus on aquatic environments, a topic that is poorly understood so far. Specifically, Agathe analyses the patterns of decomposition on victims of airplane crashes at sea to investigate the potential for these patterns to serve as reliable indicators of post-submersion interval (PMSI). Her multidisciplinary research involves collaborations with a variety of institutions and police forces across the world. Agathe has been involved in a number of forensic cases in France, where she originates, and presented her research in a range of international journals and conferences. In parallel of her research, Agathe has been a UCL Teaching Assistant in both Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology for Postgraduate students. More details on Agathe and her research are available here: 

Chawki Bisker, Teeside University

Chawki is a forensic microbiologist with more than seven years of experience working in a forensic laboratory. He holds a BSc (Hons) Microbiology from Algiers University of Science and Technology and an MSc in Biotechnology from Teeside University. He is now a PG researcher in Forensic EcoGeopnomics at Teeside University, working at the interface of molecular microbiology, soil ecology, chemistry and forensic science. His reasearch aims to enrich the currently limited knowledge base on cadaver decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems, especially from a microbiological and chemical point of view. The primary focus is on soil microbial communities response to cadaver decomposition and their use as a tool for the estimation of time since death/burial (PMI/PBI) and clandestine grave detection.

Marianne Dacombe

Marianne has a strong academic background with a BSc (Hons) Psychology and BA (Hons) Social Work as well as having undertaken Counselling Qualifications. She has worked in the Mental Health Field for over two decades, both in the voluntary and statutory sector. A decade of which was spent as an Assisstant Psychologist, working independently of high-security psychiatric hospital's such as Ashworth. This role involved working with a variety of Schedule A offenders on their Mental Health Reviews, namely Mr Ian Stewart-Brady.

Jonathon Brooks, University of Leicester 

Jonathon is a PhD researcher in Chemistry at the University of Leicester. His reasearch focuses on the idenification and application of volatile organic compounds from mammalian decomposition. Jonathon concentrates on the analytical aspects of decomposition, using a variety of analytical techniques from multidimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry (SPME-GCxGC-MS) to the real- time capable proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). The aim of this work looks to establish the VOC's from decomposition under controlled conditions, producing a VOC profile that replicates all forms of decomposition. Jonathon collaborates with polices forces UK to establish a more reliable and accurate method to train cadaver dogs. In addition to this, he currently works with the University of Technology Sydney to compare the bio-terrain difference that occur in mammal decomposition.

Many more speakers to be added - please check this page regularly for on-going updates about the Conference.  

Registration Fee:

£75.00 student

Includes:  2 day conference, refreshments and buffet lunch each day 

To book: 

Pay and register online by clicking on this link                                   

Further information

Email: or tel: 01978 293466