Executive Committee


Professor James CURRAN (since 2020)

I work at the University of Auckland in the Department of Statistics. My area of interest is broadly in statistical problems in forensic science. I have published widely on DNA and glass, especially in the areas of interpretation. A list of my recent journal publications can be found here.


Alison SEARS (since 2016)

I am a Senior Forensic Biologist in the Case Management Unit, NSW FASS. Operationally, I am involved with the analysis and reporting of DNA testing for criminal and coronial matters including DVI, as well as providing expert evidence to the Courts of NSW. I am an experienced bloodstain pattern analyst, a certified trainer and assessor, and strongly involved with many facets of industry-related research, development, and teaching.

Vice-President (New Zealand)

Dr Vica  Papp (since 2022)

I am a dual forensic-biometric identification specialist (MSc Forensic Speech Science, U of York; MA Forensic Linguistics, U of Cardiff, PhD Speech Science, Rice U). My post-doctoral research at NZILBB at the University of Canterbury focussed on mapping social-behavioural traits on the acoustic speech signal, such as drug use and speaker height. Since 2009 I’ve served as an independent forensic expert in speaker comparison in anonymous recordings, authorship analysis of anonymous documents, resolution of disputed utterances and semantic disputes, training advanced police negotiation teams and evaluating comprehension by non-native participants in the legal process. I am currently a Principal Data Scientist at Immigration NZ where I test & optimize government biometric identification solutions.

Immediate Past President

Professor Adrian LINACRE (since 2020, President 2016-2020)

I am the Chair in Forensic DNA Technologies at Flinders University. I work predominantly on trace DNA from both human and non-human sources. Prior to working in Adelaide, I worked at Strathclyde University in Glasgow where I conducted criminal casework and assisted with appeal cases. In 2022 I was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours and awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for my work in the forensic sciences.


Natasha MITCHELL (since 2019)

I am a Science Leader at Evidence Recovery, Forensic Science SA where I manage a team responsible for the examination and recovery of evidence from crime exhibits. I am also a Senior Forensic Biologist undertaking DNA analysis of evidence from serious complex criminal casework and provides opinion evidence in SA courts. I am also an Army Reservist posted to Unrecovered War Casualties Army where I undertakes DNA analysis for the purpose of identifying remains of Australian Soldiers from past historical conflicts.

Secretary/Web Support

Melissa AIRLIE (since 2020)

I am a PhD researcher in forensic hair analysis and machine learning in python for basic forensic applications at the UC.

Secretary – Delegate

Dr Jade De La Paz (since 2022)

I am a forensic anthropologist with 13 years experience. I have a PhD in Anatomy (Biological Anthropology and Clinical Anatomy) from the University of Otago (2022) and an MS in Forensic Anthropology from Boston University School of Medicine (2013). I am currently working as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago. My research focuses on anatomical approaches to estimating sex from the cranium and clavicle, high-velocity projectile skeletal trauma, taphonomy, human remains recovery and analysis in forensic contexts, osteological reference collections, and applications of research to forensic anthropology casework.