The Forensic Science Graduate Program has a distinguished group of lecturers who serve as primary instructors and guest speakers for courses. Lecturers in the program may be UC Davis faculty or forensics practitioners. Our forensic practitioner lecturers are actively employed in the industry spanning the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), the Bureau of Forensic Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and crime laboratories across the state. Lecturers provide graduate students with a relevant and applied forensic science education that directly prepares students for employment in a forensic science field.
Michael Chamberlain J.D. | Lecturer | FOR212 Scientific Evidence and Courtroom Testimony
Michael Chamberlain is a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Law. He has been a state prosecutor since 2002. Chamberlain is the legal counsel to California’s Bureau of Forensic Services, providing advisory and training services to laboratory management and staff involving all forensic disciplines. He represents California in federal and state involving constitutional and admissibility challenges to DNA and other forensic evidence, in addition to general felony appellate caseload. Chamberlain provides legislative advice, including participation in drafting and leading implementation of California’s DNA Database Act and Familial DNA Search Program.
Christyann Darwent Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR210 Personal Identification
Dr. Darwent is an associate professor of anthropology at UC Davis. She has had an interest in forensic anthropology since she was an undergraduate at the University of Calgary, Canada, where she focused on human skeletal remains. Her current work is in the High Arctic of Greenland and Alaska and she currently has two NSF-sponsored projects in these locations. Her own research focuses on animal bones and taphonomic analysis of those remains (i.e., what happens during the death, burial and recovery sequence). She uses this taphonomic information as a means of assessing climatic changes, prehistoric and historic human hunting and butchering of animals. She also oversees any human remains recovered in their archaeological excavations.
Michael Denison Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR278 Molecular Techniques
Dr. Denison is a Professor for the Department of Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis. He received his doctoral degree in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University in 1983. Dr. Denison’s research interests include: molecular toxicology; biochemical and molecular mechanisms of action of halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons and related chemicals; mechanisms of induction of drug metabolizing enzymes; structure and function of receptors for hormones and xenobiotics; gene expression; and bioassay systems for detection of environmental contaminants.
Ruth Dickover M.S., Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR290 Graduate Seminar
Dr. Dickover is the Director of the Forensic Science Graduate Program at UC Davis. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences, M.S. in Forensic Science, and Ph.D. in Microbiology from UC Davis. Dr. Dickover worked as a Research Specialist in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UCLA School of Medicine and as an International HIV PCR Consultant for the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Prior to becoming the Director of the Forensic Science Program, Dr. Dickover was a Criminalist in the Kern County Regional Crime Laboratory. Her research interests include forensic DNA analysis, bioterrorism, human retrovirology, genetic diversity in HIV, mechanisms of immune escape, source and mechanisms of perinatal HIV transmission, autologous neutralizing antibody to HIC, pediatric AIDS, immunopathogenesis of HIV infection, and HIV gene evolution in vivo.
Phillip Hess M.S. | Lecturer | FOR240 Homicide Crime Scene Investigation
Phillip Hess is a Criminalist and Technical Lead for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Laboratory of Forensic Services. He specializes in firearm/toolmark examination and footwear/tire track/impression evidence. Hess is the head of the crime scene response team that covers crime scenes in Sacramento county, assisting law enforcement with: collecting, controlling, and preserving evidence; performing field tests or examinations for presumptive identification of some types of evidence; and performing evidence interpretation of blood spatter patterns, bullet trajectories, and event reconstruction.
Robert B. Kimsey Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR293 Research Methodology
Dr. Kimsey is a member of the Forensic Science Gradaute Group and an associate adjunct professor and lecturer of entomology investigating epidemiology of tick-borne Zoonoses in Northern California. He received his Ph.D. in entomology at UC Davis in 1984 and then conducted postdoctoral research in that department. In 1987 he joined the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Tropical Public Health as a research associate. Kimsey was a visiting lecturer in parasitology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University during this period. He teaches a graduate-level seminar in forensic entomology at UC Davis and continues to consult for law enforcement as well as law firms.
Marcus Knutson | Lecturer | FOR240 Homicide Crime Scene Investigation
Marcus Knutson is a Special Agent with the FBI, and serves as Senior Team Leader of the Evidence Response Team from the Sacramento Division. He also serves as a Coordinator for the Sacramento Division’s Behavioral Analysis Unit as well as the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force. Knutson has trained in crime scene investigation, body and skeletal remains recovery, forensic interviewing of children, behavioral analysis, electronic evidence collection, post-blast recovery, and large vehicle bombs.
Boyd Lasater M.S. | Lecturer | FOR221L Forensic Instrumentation Lab & FOR289 Survey of Forensic Science
Boyd Lasater is a Senior Criminalist with the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services. Prior to this state position, he was a Forensic Toxicologist with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff’s Forensic Science Division. He received his Master of Science degree from the UC Davis Forensic Science Graduate Program in 2012 and currently maintains a fellow status with the American Board of Criminalistics in the specialty areas of drug analysis, fire debris analysis, and paint and polymer analysis. As a Senior Criminalist with the state, his responsibilities include drug, alcohol, clandestine laboratory, paint/polymer, fire debris, and general laboratory analyses.
Barry Miller B.S. | Lecturer | FOR298 Group Study: Forensic Alcohol
Barry Miller is an Assistant Bureau Chief for the California Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement, Bureau of Forensic Services. He was the Laboratory Director for the Solano County Office of the District Attorney, Bureau of Forensic Services for six years. Miller specializes in controlled substance analytical chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of ethanol, and fire debris analysis. Additionally, he has testified as an expert witness in multiple Superior Courts in northern California on topics including blood alcohol concentrations, controlled substances, clandestine laboratories, and crime scene documentation/reconsrtuction.
Scott Nagy Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR280 Forensic DNA Analysis
Dr. Nagy is a Senior Criminalist with the California Department of Justice Sacramento Criminalistics Laboratory. He received his doctoral degree in pharmacology and toxicology at UC Davis in 2001. As a Senior Criminalist, Dr. Nagy performs casework in DNA and biological fluid identification as well as validation of robotic liquid handling systems.
Glendon Parker Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR200 Fundamental Concepts in Forensic Science
Dr. Parker is the founder and CEO of Protein-Based Identification Technologies, LLC, an organization contracted by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is developing a proteomics laboratory dedicated to the identification technologies destined to be utilized by the forensic, intelligence, and anthropological communities. Parker has been funded by the Department of Energy, Department of Justice, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, among others. Glendon Parker received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Monash University, Australia, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Department of Biological Chemistry. He is a research associate with the UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology.
Jeffrey Rodzen Ph.D | Lecturer | FOR281 Forensic DNA Typing
Dr. Rodzen is a Research Scientist with the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). At the CDFW, Rodzen leads the design and construction of a new genetics laboratory in Sacramento, CA. He also provides guidance on the genetic management of wild and propagated fish species and interacts with the State Aquaculture Coordinator on genetics issues, such as broodstock selection and development of novel species. Prior to his time at CDFW, he held a position of Supervising Criminalist in the Forensic Biology/DNA unit of the Sacramento County District Attorney;s Office Laboratory of Forensic Services. Rodzen received his Ph.D. in Genetics from UC Davis in 2001.
Moshe Rosenberg D.Sc. | Lecturer | FOR298 Group Study: Food Forensics
Dr. Rosenberg is a member of the Forensic Science Graduate Group and a professor and specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. He received his M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees in food engineering and biotechnology from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. His forensic science related research is focused on food traceability and authentication. Using different analytical approaches (stable isotopes, biological markers and trace elements analysis) his research is aimed at identifying the regional origin of food products in general, and cheese and other dairy products in particular. Other research areas include understanding the relationships between microstructural; physio-chemical and functional properties of food materials; microencapsulating properties of biomaterials; development of advanced, highly functional delivery systems for nutrients and bioactive compounds; and dairy science and technology.
Faye Springer B.S. | Lecturer | FOR200 Fundamental Concepts & FOR289 Survey of Forensic Science
Faye Springer worked as a criminalist with the California Department of Justice in the Riverside and the Sacramento laboratories for over 24 years. In 1996, she accepted a position with the Sacramento County Forensic Laboratory where she was the technical leader of the trace evidence laboratory and supervisor of the Biology/DNA unit. Springer has worked more than 1,000 homicide cases including some of the most notable serial murderers in California. She was a subcommittee chairperson of the National Scientific Working Group on Materials (SWGMAT) and gunshot residue (SWGGSR), developing national standards for analysis and training. She is best known for her work in the area of trace evidence and crime scene investigation.
Craig Triebold M.S. | Lecturer | FOR298 Forensic Toxicology & FOR289 Survey of Forensic Science
Craig Triebold is a Criminalist with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office Laboratory of Forensic Services. At the laboratory, his specializations are: blood alcohol analysis and maintenance of the breath alcohol program; toxicological analysis on biological samples; enzyme immunoassay presumptive toxicological analysis; and fire debris analysis. He has testified as an expert witness in forensic alcohol, forensic toxicology, and fire debris analysis disciplines in over 160 court cases. Craig Triebold received his Master of Science in Forensic Science at UC Davis in 2005.
Klaus Van Benthem Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR205 Microscopy and Microanalytical Methods
Dr. Van Benthem is an Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Davis. In his lab at UC Davis, he uses electron microscopy tools to image nano-materials with atomic resolution and correlate their morphologies and atomic structures with nano-scale and macro-scale physical properties. His interests are also in the development of new strategies to investigate materials under more realistic environmental conditions, such as gas phases, liquids, electrical and mechanical fields, etc. His overall vision is the characterization of functional materials with atomic resolution under their anticipated working conditions, i.e., “at work”. Van Benthem received his doctoral degree from the Max-Planck Institute for Metals Research at the University of Stuttgart in Germany and has worked in several national laboratories.
Joy Viray M.S. | Guest Lecturer | FOR210 Personal Identification
Joy Viray is a Criminalist with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office Laboratory of Forensic Services. As a DNA technical leader, she: maintains laboratory compliance with FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories; evaluates DNA methods used in the DNA unit; proposes new or modified analytical DNA procedures; and oversees training and quality assurance. Joy Viray received her Master of Science in Forensic Science at UC Davis in 2008.
Cecilia Von Beroldingen Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR280 Forensic DNA Analysis
Dr. Von Beroldingen received her doctoral degree in biology from the University of Oregon in 1978. She conducted her postdoctoral research in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University and in the Division of Cellular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute. She was a research associate in the Forensic Science Program at UC Berkeley, investigating the application of PCR to the analysis of biological evidence. Von Beroldingen has also served as the technical leader of the DNA section of the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory. She joined the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory in 2001 and is now the director of the California Criminalistics Institute.
Lawrence Wayne B.S. | Guest Lecturer | FOR205 Microscopy and Microanalytical Methods & FOR289 Survey of Forensic Science
Lawrence Wayne is a Senior Research Microscopist in the Applied Microscopy Laboratory of Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc., in Hayward, CA. He has 29 years of experience in particulate analysis using various techniques of light microscopy, electron microscopy, infrared microspectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. He is the Principal Investigator in combustion product examination and analysis studies. Wayne provides analysis of samples from cases of plant and synthetic fiber comparison and identification, gunshot residue, unknown white powder identification, mineral identification, glass comparison and analysis, electronic component failure analysis, paint comparison and analysis, analysis of air and bulk samples for asbestos content, and microchemical and crystallographic analysis.
Karma Waltonen Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR218 Forensic Case Reports
Dr. Waltonen is a coordinator for the University Writing Program and has been teaching at UC Davis since 2000. She is the former President of the Margaret Atwood Society and current editor of the peer-edited journal Margaret Atwood Studies. Recently, she has published on time travel in Star Trek and on the ethics of religious cults in Doctor Who and on asexuality in Sherlock and on postmodernism in The X-Files. Service to the university includes administering the Upper Division Composition Exam, coordinating the Entry Level Writing Program, working extensively with the Campus Book Project, mentoring in the Guardian Scholars Program, and giving special lectures for the STEP program.
Matthew Wood Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR207 Forensic Spectroscopy
Dr. Wood is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis. His research group is focused on defining the biochemical mechanisms involved in the perception of and protection against oxidative stress and other toxic compounds using the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By defining the molecular mechanisms by which oxidative and environmental stresses alter cellular signaling pathways and gene expression, the research group at the Wood Laboratory hopes to develop new technologies for monitoring and remediation of oxidative stress and environmental toxicants. Matthew Wood received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry from UC San Diego.
Qi Zhang Ph.D. | Lecturer | FOR220 Analysis of Toxicants
Dr. Zhang is a Professor in Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis. Her research group is focused on conducting field measurements and laboratory studies with a main goal to understand the chemical and physical properties, sources, and lifecycle processes of aerosol particles and fog/cloud droplets in the atmosphere. Dr. Zhang’s group also performs integrated analyses of worldwide aerosol mass spectrometry datasets to improve understanding and modeling of aerosol chemistry and climatology. In addition, the group develops instruments and data analysis techniques to study the chemistry of organics in airborne PM and droplets.