Speaker Bios

Read bios about the speakers who will be presenting their experiences and expertise at the 20th Annual Symposium on September 9 and 10, 2021.

Dr. Richard Adler

Dr. Richard Adler, M.D.

Richard S. Adler, M.D., is a Harvard-trained, Board-certified Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. He completed a Forensic Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Adler has been involved in the clinical and forensic diagnosis/evaluation of PTSD. In addition, he has testified across the US in state and federal courts regarding PTSD. He was the expert at the state and federal sentencing hearings for Colton Harris-Moore, also known as "The Barefoot Bandit," and testified about the PTSD incurred by the emotional impact of Harris-Moore's five episodes of flying planes that he was not capable of landing. Dr. Adler is a New York native, who was deeply affected by 9/11. He has developed a form of Written Exposure Therapy (CBT-X TM) for PTSD and is an expert on neuroimaging/neurofeedback for this condition.

Jay Aronson

Jay Aronson, Ph.D.

Jay Aronson is the founder and director of the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also Professor of Science, Technology, and Society in the History Department. Aronson's research and teaching focus on the interactions of science, technology, law, media, and human rights in a variety of contexts. He is currently writing a book with Dr. Roger Mitchell, Jr., the former Chief Medical Examiner and Deputy Mayor of Washington, DC (now a professor at Howard University's College of Medicine), that addresses significant shortcomings in the way police killings and deaths in custody are recorded and investigated in the United States. He is also engaged in a long-term project on the use of video evidence in human rights investigations. Previously, Aronson spent nearly a decade examining the ethical, political, and social dimensions of post-conflict and post-disaster identification of the missing and disappeared (including after 9/11) in collaboration with a team of anthropologists, bioethicists, and forensic scientists he assembled. He has also been involved in a variety of projects with colleagues from statistics, political science, and the conflict monitoring community to improve the quality of civilian casualty recording and estimation in times of conflict.

Dahlia Bauer

Dahlia Bauer, Ph.D.

Dahlia Bauer, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in New Orleans. Dr. Bauer co-founded DBTNOLA and specializes in the treatment of adolescents, young adults, and adults with extreme emotion regulation disorders. She is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and is certified by the Linehan Board of Certification. She provides comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy to patients and provides training and consultation to clinicians. Dr. Bauer also conducts DBT PE (Prolonged Exposure) to treat PTSD. Dr. Bauer was previously employed as the Director of Evidenced Based Services for Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority and implemented evidence-based treatments to children and adolescents across the Greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. In addition to a clinical practice, Dr. Bauer is also a Forensic Psychologist and provides evaluations of criminal responsibility, psychological maturity, and competency to stand trial for criminal and juvenile courts. She also conducts child custody evaluations and parent coordination. Dr. Bauer currently teaches at Tulane University and has taught at The University of New Orleans, Louisiana State University Medical School and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier University.

Roy Cavan

Roy Cavan, FBI Ret.

Roy Cavan began his career as a patrol officer with the Detroit Police Department, where he was involved with the Tactical Mobile Unit. He joined the FBI in 1973, first as a Special Agent with the Pittsburgh Field Division. Later he joined the Cleveland Division, where he was assigned to violent and organized crime investigations. He also served as FBI Liaison with US Attorney's Office Organized Crime Strike Force. As Coordinator and Senior Team Leader of the Evidence Response Team (ERT) for Northern Ohio, Cavan supervised 20 Special Agents and 4 support employees during the investigation of major mass fatality incidents to include the Oklahoma City Bombing, the crash of TWA Flight 800, deployment to Kosovo in support of the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal investigation and the crash of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. He went on to join the Lorain County Police Training Academy as Commander in charge of trainee screening and selection. Currently he teaches Criminal Justice and Death Investigations as an Adjunct Instructor with Lorain County Community College.
Andrea Dammann

Andrea Dammann, FBI Ret.

Andrea Dammann earned a BS in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech. She then worked in laboratory at Medical College of Virginia doing research on several pediatric genetic diseases while working on her MS in Forensic Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. After completing her degree she entered the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. After graduation from the FBI Academy, Special Agent (SA) Dammann was assigned to the Pittsburgh Field Office and worked investigations involving organized crime, drugs, violent crimes and crimes against children. In 1994, after the FBI mandated that each field office form an Evidence Team (ERT), SA Dammann was one of the original members of the Pittsburgh ERT. The first deployment of the team was on September 8, 1994, to the crash of US Air Flight 427. During her time on the team, SA Dammann responded to a variety of crime scenes including child homicide cases and bank robberies, On September 11, 2001, SA Dammann led the evidence recovery operation at the crash of United Flight 93, coordinating the efforts of over 100 FBI ERT personnel. SA Dammann also lead the team's response to the Boston Marathon bombing where they processed the boat where Dzohkar Tsarnaev was located, the Washington Navy Yard shooting, and the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. SA Dammann taught crime scene processing to numerous law enforcement officers both domestically and internationally in Kazakhstan, Mauritania, and at the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA) in Bangkok and Budapest. In addition to her work on ERT, SA Dammann was a field coordinator for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) and a member of the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD)Team. After a 30 year career, SA Dammann retired from the FBI in 2019.

Dr. Pamela Marshall

Pamela Marshall, Ph.D.

Dr. Pamela Marshall has been involved in the field of forensic analysis since 2002. Upon the completion of her MS in Forensic Genetics in 2002, she worked as a Forensic Scientist III at the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. While in Maryland, Dr. Marshall became an expert on sexual assault kit examination and collection practices. She was the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Coordinator for the state, helped to promote 120-hour SAFE collection legislation, and assisted in the training of over 200 SAFE nurses.

Dr. Marshall has travelled abroad to Luanda, Angola, Africa in order to train analysts in forensic DNA analysis. She has been qualified as an expert witness in the field of serology in Maryland and Texas.

From 2014-2018, Dr. Marshall served as the Director of the Forensic Science Program at the Southern University at New Orleans, a public, historically black college and university (HBCU). While at SUNO, Dr. Marshall created a state of the art forensic laboratory for hands-on research and experimentation. She has received numerous grants as well as partnered on research projects with other faculty and students. She is an advocate for increasing the number of African American and underrepresented minority professionals in the field of forensic science.

Dr. Marshall has extensive graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in the forensic disciplines of serology, DNA, and microscopy. Her research interests include low copy number DNA, human and wildlife DNA identification challenges, nanoparticle technology, pressure cycling technology, and PCR enhancement.

Allan Pass

Allan D. Pass, Ph.D.

Allan D. Pass has worked for more than 47 years in the field of mental health counseling, with a specialty in forensic mental health. Since 1986, he has served as director of National Behavioral Science Consultants, an innovative, Pittsburgh-based consulting services firm utilizing an expert network of affiliated consultants with specialties in human resources program design, crisis intervention management, clinical and forensic mental health services, pre-placement personality risk assessment, employee relations, loss prevention, industrial/organizational consulting, custom designed seminars and judicially recognized expert witness services. From 1973 to 1991, Dr. Pass served as psychological services associate supervisor at The Western Diagnostic and Classification Center of Pittsburgh, a maximum-security forensic mental health classification and treatment center operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He has provided expert consultation and served as an expert witness in various capacities, including criminal behavioral personality profiling, hostage negotiations, crisis intervention, Repressed Memory Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, homicides, violent sexual psychopathology, Parental Alienation Syndrome, competency assessment, and mitigation assessment in death penalty cases. Notable professional achievements include receiving the city's Outstanding Law Enforcement Award and providing local and state police and the FBI with criminal behavior personality profile services in numerous high profile homicide and serial rape investigations that contributed to the successful arrest and conviction of perpetrators. He has served as a visiting Instructor at Community College of Allegheny County, UPMC and the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, and has led workshops and given lectures at various correctional and law enforcement agencies. Dr. Pass received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in counseling with a psychological emphasis and a specialty in violent psychopathology; his M.S. from Duquesne University in the same subject; and his B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University in psychology.

Dr. Mark Perlin

Mark W. Perlin, Ph.D., M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Mark Perlin is chief scientist and executive at Cybergenetics, a Pittsburgh-based bio-information company. Dr. Perlin holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics, a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and an M.D. medical degree. He has worked on a thousand criminal cases, and the World Trade Center disaster.

For over 20 years, because of PCR copying variation, informative DNA data from millions of evidence items have been uninterpreted, misinterpreted, or inaccurately reported. Dr. Perlin solved this problem twenty years ago by mathematically modeling DNA mixtures to account for the variation.

He wrote the TrueAllele® software to translate DNA evidence into probabilistic genotypes. The statistical model has been published and extensively validated, even for complex DNA mixtures long believed to be unsolvable. His probabilistic genotyping automation has been widely adopted, used in crime laboratories, and has now become the scientific standard. Through his innovation, criminals are brought to justice and innocent people are freed.

Rhonda Roby

Rhonda K. Roby, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Roby has worked on homicide and rape investigations and testified in several states and in Chile. Additionally, she worked on the identifications of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; the identification of numerous victims in airline disasters; and the identification of Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. Dr. Roby led the mtDNA efforts to assist the City of New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in the identifications of the remains of decedents in response to the terrorists' attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. For this case, she was the director of the mtDNA sequencing program reporting to the OCME and established high throughput forensic sequencing protocols for remains identification of the 9/11 victims.

Dr. Roby has given presentations worldwide and educated forensic scientists, parentage laboratorians, police officers, lay persons, investigators, and lawyers. She earned a doctorate degree in Genetics and Evolution (magna cum laude) from the University of Granada, Spain, a Masters of Public Health degree in forensic biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and bachelor's degrees in Biology and French from Washington University. Dr. Roby has authored/co-authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters and was fictionalized as Dr. Joanna Seager in Julia Heaberlin's novel "The Black-Eyed Susans."

Sheila Roth

Sheila G. Roth, Ph.D., LCSW, EMT-B

Sheila Gillespie Roth is Director of the Masters in Social Work program and Professor of Social Work at Carlow University. Dr. Roth is a licensed clinical social worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has clinical training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Critical Incident Stress Management, and in EMDR. Roth is also Manager for the City of Pittsburgh Continuum of Support Program and a member of the Pittsburgh Critical Incident Stress Management Team. She provides training to public safety providers and support to Peer Team training and development.

Research interest have included work family fit for public safety providers; ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care settings; trauma informed care in treatment settings; and more recently she has assisted multiple public safety agencies and a medical examiner's office with the development and education of peer support teams.

Dr. Roth has been the recipient of awards such as: Southwestern PA NASW Social Worker of the Year, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Team Member Award, Celebrate & Share Women of Achievement Award, Certificate of Appreciation given by the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS and the Rodney Miller Safety Award in EMS by STAT Medevac.

Samuel Simon

Samuel A. Simon, Jr., M.A., FBI Ret.

Mr. Simon graduated from Duquesne in 1987 and immediately entered the United States Army where he served for five years as a Military Intelligence linguist. After a short period working as a contractor with the United States Agency for International Development, he started his career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Initially assigned to the Washington Metropolitan Field Office, Mr. Simon was a member of the Safe Streets Anti-Gang Task Force and worked the most violent street gangs in the nation's capital. During his time on this unit, he volunteered to be a member of the FBI's Evidence Response Team, responding to searches, crime scenes, and incidents throughout the capital area, and globally. Mr. Simon was deployed to Nairobi, Kenya following the bombing of the US Embassy, and was an Evidence Response Team Leader during the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon. Mr. Simon went on to serve on a Counter Terrorism Unit at FBIHQ before taking over as the supervisor of the Fort Worth Joint Terrorism Task Force in Fort Worth, TX. He was one of three FBI Supervisors selected to lead the investigation of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and spent six months deployed to Baghdad as the Deputy On-Scene Commander for FBI Operations in Iraq. Prior to retirement Mr. Simon was stationed in Athens, Greece and Nicosia, Cyprus serving as an Assistant Legal Attaché for the FBI. For the past five years Mr. Simon has been a lecturer with Texas Christian University, assigned to their Criminal Justice Department. He teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice, Terrorism, Terrorism Finance, Federal Law Enforcement, and Crime Scene Investigation courses. Mr. Simon is married and has two daughters and one granddaughter.

Scott Warnasch

Scott A. Warnasch, M.A.

Mr. Warnasch has been a professional archaeologist for 30 years, working and teaching archaeological methodology in Europe and the Americas. From 2005 through 2015, he was a member of the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner's (OCME) Forensic Anthropology Unit and was Senior Anthropologist of the OCME's World Trade Center Operations. During his tenure, his primary duties involved directing the extensive victims' remains recovery excavations conducted at the World Trade Center site between 2006 and 2014. He also conducted and supervised several crime scene recoveries and mass fatality incidents within the five boroughs. Since leaving the OCME in 2015, Mr. Warnasch has become a consultant and is dedicating most of his time to writing his first book, American Mummies: The Industrial Birth of the Eternal Dead, about his research into the lives of three mid-19th century iron coffin mummies he has discovered, including the subject of the PBS series Secrets of the Dead episode, "The Woman in the Iron Coffin."

Cyril Wecht

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

Cyril H. Wecht is a medical-legal and forensic science consultant, author and lecturer who served the people of Allegheny County as their elected coroner for 20 years. He has performed approximately 19,000 autopsies and reviewed or been consulted on approximately 39,000 additional postmortem examinations, including cases in several foreign countries. Dr. Wecht holds various faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Carlow University, and serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. He is the author or co-author of more than 585 professional publications and editor or co-editor of 46 books, as well as co-author of the popular non-fiction books Cause of Death, Grave Secrets, Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey?, Mortal Evidence and Tales from the Morgue. Dr. Wecht frequently appears as a guest on national TV and radio shows to discuss various medical-legal and scientific subjects. He has served as president of the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Academy of Forensic Science, as well as chairman of the boards of trustees of both the American Board of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation. Dr. Wecht is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology, and is a fellow of the College of American Pathologists, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the National Association of Medical Examiners. Formerly chairman of the Department of Pathology and president of the medical staff at St. Francis Central Hospital in Pittsburgh, he received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his law degree from the University of Maryland.