Branch Presentations


Tuesday 16 April 2019

Networking from 5:30 pm. 

The Use of Non-Human DNA in Forensic Science


The WA Branch of ANZFSS takes to the road for our next meeting – please note the change of venue.  Featuring a presentation by Dr Shanan Tobe from Murdoch University, the meeting will be held in the Kim E. Beazley Lecture Theatre (351.1.001) at Murdoch University.  Details regarding the presentation are as follows:



The use of non-human DNA in Forensic Science.



Non-human DNA is often found and recovered at crime scenes but left unanalysed. This is due to lack of established testing and procedures in the operational forensic laboratories, specialist testing can be undertaken at additional costs. This non-human DNA can however offer important investigative leads and may even be able to confirm or deny a particular version of events. With over 40% of the population cohabitating with pets, the opportunity for non-human evidence being present and/or transferred is huge. Other applications include the identification of endangered species such as tigers and bears in the pet trade, or used as part of commercial products such as medicines and curios. These medicines are often sold as alternative therapies and herbal, meaning they are not regulated and in addition to being illegal, may also be unsafe. Other non-human evidence includes the use of microbial skin populations as a linking tool that could be a potential for identification when conventional DNA profiling fails. Dr. Tobe will discuss his research in non-human forensic genetic analysis as well as provide case examples of the use of this type of testing.



Dr. Shanan (Shane) Tobe completed his B.Sc. Honours in Forensic Biology at Laurentian University in Canada. He continued his studies at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, obtaining an M.Sc. and Ph.D. His research focused on taphonomy, presumptive testing and species identification. Shane was awarded a prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship at Flinders University, in Adelaide where he continued research into non-human DNA and its application to forensic science. Following his fellowship he took up a position in the USA as an Assistant Professor before moving back to Australia and taking up his current role as Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University. Shane has published over 50 peer reviewed papers and conference abstracts, and co-authored a text book on DNA in Wildlife Forensic Science.



Date: Tuesday 16/04/2019
Time: Networking from 5:30pm
Room: Murdoch University – Kim E. Beazley Lecture Theatre, 351.1.001 [Located on Bush Court, near the Library]
Parking: Closest parking in Parking Lot #3, free from 5pm.
RSVP: Essential for catering purposes at


Please click here to register through the ANZFSS Event Page.