This episode of the 2020 R&D Season of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Just Science podcast series consists of an interview with Dr. Tatiana Trejos, Assistant Professor of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Sciences at West Virginia University, who discusses the rapid detection of organic and inorganic gunshot residue.
Background information for the interview notes that speed and accuracy are vital in the analysis of gunshot residue. Dr. Trejos and her team are working on a comprehensive method for studying both organic and inorganic gunshot residue, using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. This method focuses on achieving accurate results, reducing wait time, and preserving the evidence. In this interview, Dr. Trejos discusses chemometrics and a novel tool for analyzing organic and inorganic gunshot residue. At the outset of the interview, however, she briefly describes the scope of the courses she teaches at West Virginia University. They feature topics related to research design. She then responds to a question about the definition of "chemometrics," which involves the application of mathematical and statistical methods to the results of chemical analysis. She then focuses on her research work in developing a novel process for increasing the mobility, speed, and accuracy of a method for detecting the residue of ammunition currently being used in firearms.