Episode 59: How Can Science Help Us to Solve Crimes?

Meet the Expert: Dr. Kelly Elkins, biochemist and forensic scientist 
Dr. Kelly Elkins, forensic scienti

Dr. Kelly Elkins is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Towson University and a founding tri-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Forensic Science Education. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Keene State College in 1997 and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Chemistry from Clark University in 2001 and 2003, respectively. She conducted research in Heidelberg, Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar from 2001-2002 at the European Media Lab (now HITS) and at MIT as a Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellow from 2003-2004.

She is the author of the books Forensic DNA Biology: A Laboratory ManualIntroduction to Forensic Chemistry, and Next Generation Sequencing in Forensic Science: A Primer (in press). Kelly enjoys communicating science in the classroom, through professional presentations, via outreach activities, in interviews, and on television. She has been interviewed by NBC 9News Denver, FOX 31 News Denver, ABC 7 News Denver, The Denver Post, and Forensic Magazine as a forensic expert. Her contact info is here.

Here are the two books that Kelly has written:


Book Introduction to Forensic Chemistry                 Book Forensic DNA Biologyu

These books may be a bit advanced for younger readers, but they are perfect for older ones looking for more information about Forensic Chemistry. 





Do an experiment to extract DNA from a strawberry. You can search for one on the internet or try this here by Steve Spangler

OR if you’re family has done one of the genealogy tests, look through it to see what traits have been passed down from your ancestors.

With your parent’s permission, send us a picture of your strawberry DNA.

Send us a picture or leave a comment below.We LOVE hearing from you!! If you liked this episode, leave a comment below OR share with us on our Twitter , Instagram or Facebook page.



BFN Chemistry Notebook

Highlighted book for this episode!

Everything You Need to Ace Chemistry in One Big Fat Notebook by Workman Publishing a and Jennifer Swanson

The #1 Best Seller in Amazon’s Teen and YA Chemistry Books







Book List:

Chemistry Made Easy: An Illustrated Study Guide For Students To Easily Learn Chemistry by NEDU

CSI Expert!: Forensic Science for Kids by Karen Schulz

Forensic Science: Discover the Fascinating Methods Scientists Use to Solve Crimes (DK Eyewitness) by Chris Cooper

Mark Twain – Forensic Investigations, Grades 6 – 12 by Schyrlet Cameron (Author), Janie Doss (Author), Suzanne Myers (Author)


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