Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility

The Forensic Science Program fosters professional relationships that provide opportunities for faculty and students to present and publish the research data generated within the Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility. Students have also been able to participate with faculty members on long term research funded through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Funding is available for students to help cover the costs of publication and travel to professional functions to present research.

Forensics Lab

Forensics Lab

Current Research Projects

Jodi Lynn Barta, PhD
Dr. Barta’s published research topics include methodological improvements for the extraction of ancient and forensic DNA, recovering bloody impressions from difficult substrates, including from human skin, defining methods to create consistent and reproducible fingerprint impressions deposited in biological fluids on a variety of substrates, ancient DNA analysis of Roman cemetery populations, and ancient DNA analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from paleopathological skeletal remains.

Carly Nowicki, PhD
Dr. Nowicki’s research interests include the development and application of bioassessment and molecular tools to evaluate the health of environmental systems, and human health risk assessment, specifically: the use of standard laboratory toxicity assays to evaluate newly emerging contaminants in the Great Lakes and the implications for human health; measuring oxidative stress biomarkers in invertebrate communities in laboratory and transplantation field experiments; the use of eDNA for species detection in aquatic environments; the role of the environment in the spread of human disease and the scientific culture surrounding vaccinations in the United States.

Mike Kusluski, MFS, F-ABC
Mr. Kusluski’s research interests are in shooting incident reconstruction and bloodstain pattern analysis - specifically in the areas of gunshot residue analysis, sequencing/time-dating of evidence, officer-involved shootings, crime scene reconstruction and the investigation of suspicious shooting deaths.

Jessica Zarate, MS
Ms. Zarate’s research interests are primarily in the impression evidence discipline with a focus on using fluorogenic methods to detect, lift, enhance, and preserve blood and other proteinaceous evidence, specializing in the recovery of impressions from difficult substrates, such as human skin.