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)

Rachel NICKERSON (since 2020)

I have a Master of Science majoring in Forensic Science and while finishing my thesis in 2003, I began my career with the NZ Police, as a civilian Crime Scene Attendant. I completed the SOCO training course at the RNZPC and was successfully appointed SOCO Level 1.

I completed the Diploma in Crime Scene Examination in 2013 progressing to SOCO Level 2 before being promoted to District Forensic Supervisor in 2014. I completed the NZQA Level 4 Adult Education Certification and in mid-2019 was appointed to the newly created position of Crime Scene Trainer, RNZPC, and moved to Wellington.

I am updating the SOCO training programme with the move to a virtual classroom as well as face-to-face problem-based learning, to ensure our training is accessible, relevant, consistent and authentic.


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.


Melissa AIRLIE (since 2020)

I am a Sergeant/Scientific Officer at the Major Crime Unit of the QPS. I am a PhD researcher in forensic hair analysis and machine learning in python for basic forensic applications at the UC and a sessional lecturer in forensics at the QUT.

Immediate Past President

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