Dr Helen Earwaker is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Studies within the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS). She began her career as a Forensic Recovery Officer for Northumbria Police, primarily visualising latent fingermarks on crime scene exhibits. During this time she completed an MSc in Forensic Science at Staffordshire University, carrying out operationally influenced research into fingermark visualisation techniques as part of this award. Helen then proceeded to study for a MRes in Security and Crime Science and PhD in Forensic Science within the EPSRC funded SECReT doctoral training center at the University College London Department of Security and Crime Science. Whilst studying at UCL Helen co-authored a report on behalf of the Forensic Science Knowledge Transfer Network and was involved in a number of national fingerprint working groups. She has presented her work at national conferences, meetings, and working groups and major international conferences. Helen was awarded her PhD entitled ‘An Investigation of Fingermark Submission Decision Making’ in 2017. She teaches forensic studies with a focus on integrating theory, casework, and empirical research within the curriculum. Her research interests include decision making within fingerprint recovery, analysis and comparison, human factors within the forensic science and investigative processes, and fingermark visualisation methods.

Research interests

Key research areas include:

  • Decision making within fingermark development and comparison
  • Fingermark visualisation techniques
  • Cognitive forensics and human factors