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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Criminalist to discuss trace evidence on Friday, March 19

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 15, 2004 -- Virginia Maxwell, a trace evidence expert with the Connecticut State Crime Laboratory, will speak about the forensics of paint, glass, and soil as part of the Forensic Science Seminar Series offered by the University of Rhode Island.

The discussion will take place on Friday, March 19, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 124 of Pastore Hall on the Kingston Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In cases where little or no DNA evidence exists, trace evidence, such as paint, glass, soil, and fiber, is used to link the victim, suspect and crime scene. Be it a complex homicide or simple vandalism, Maxwell collects evidence at the crime scene, analyzes it in the lab, serves as an expert witness in court, and lectures to police and students about her findings.

Maxwell holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Oxford University in England, and she completed a fellowship at the Royal Military College of Canada. She worked as a cancer researcher at Yale University School of Medicine, but left in 1991 to pursue her current career. Since 1996, Maxwell has worked in the Trace Evidence Department of the Connecticut laboratory.

No stranger to the lecture circuit, she has spoken at URI before, her most recent appearance occurring in April 2003. She has also spoken as part of Ohio University’s "Frontiers in Science" lecture series.

The Forensic Science Seminar Series is a semester-long program offered by the University of Rhode Island Forensic Science Partnership. It lasts through April 30, and all lectures are held in Room 124 of Pastore Hall from 3:30 to 5 p.m.