Pennsylvania Forensic Science Student Research Exchange

March 29-30, 2019

Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA

The Pennsylvania Forensic Science Student Research Exchange is a forum to showcase research in forensic science from students across collegiate forensic science programs.

Call for Abstracts

Abstract Deadline March 1st

All abstracts must be received by 5pm on March 1st.

Student will receive an email acceptance notification by March 8th. 

Abstract Submission


Registration Deadline March 11th

If you plan to attend the event please register by 5pm on March 11th.


Any Questions Contact:


Tentative Schedule

Friday, March 29, 2019
Power Center Ballroom
  • 5:30pm - Registration & Poster Setup
  • 6:00-7:00pm - Odd Number Poster Presentations
  • 7:00-8:00pm - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick "Who Am I? What is My Name? A Holocaust Survival and Reunion Story"
  • 8:00-9:00pm - Even Number Poster Presentations

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Bayer Hall - Pappert Lecture Hall
  • 8:00am-8:30am - Breakfast
  • 8:30am-11:30am - Presentations
  • 11:30am-12:30pm - Lunch
  • 12:30pm-3:00pm - Presentations

Event Format

Event Format

  • The PA Research Exchange consists of a poster session, oral presentations, a keynote speaker, & a vendor fair.
  • Set up of posters will take place Friday March 29th from 5:30pm and 6:00pm.
  • Continental breakfast will be provided for participants between 8:00 am and 8:30 am on Saturday March 30th.
  • A specific schedule will be posted to the website in advance of the symposium.
  • Event dress is business casual.


  • Posters should contain a prominent title, name the authors, & effectively convey the findings of your research.
  • A corkboard with pushpins will be provided for students.

Oral Presentations

  • Due to time constraints, only a select number of students will be chosen to present.
  • To be considered, pleased indicate your interest on the online submission form.
  • Students who wish to present at the PA Research Exchange will be notified of their acceptance by March 8th.
  • If you are not selected to give an oral presentation, you will automatically be considered for a poster presentation.
  • Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. Power point will be available for those who are interested.
Keynote Speaker

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, IdentiFinders

colleen fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, the founder of Identifinders International, is widely recognized as the founder of modern Forensic Genealogy. She has worked dozens of cold case homicides for law enforcement using genetic genealogy analysis. Most notably, she is credited with collaborating with the Phoenix Police Department to solve the 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders. The team won fifth place in the prestigious 2018 DNA Hit of the Year competition by Gordon Thomas Honeywell Affairs, out of 61 submissions from 14 countries.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is Co-Executive Director of the DNA Doe Project (DDP), applying autosomal SNP analysis to the identification of John and Jane Does sometimes decades old. The DNA Doe Project recently identified Buckskin Girl, a Jane Doe who had defied identification for 37 years. The DDP team used genetic genealogy to solve the case in four hours.

In addition to applying her expertise to cold case work, Dr. Fitzpatrick had been a key member of the teams that have exposed three international Holocaust literary frauds. She had been the Forensic Genealogist on several historical projects including the Identification of the Unknown Child on the Titanic and the Abraham Lincoln DNA Project. Her collaborations include the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Office, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, the University of Arizona, Harvard Medical School and other noted professional organizations. She is an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS).

Colleen lectures widely in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has appeared in hundreds of domestic and international newspapers and magazines, and on international radio and television programs. These include the The Today Show BBC World News Tonight, RTE Ireland Television's Nationwide, Radio New Zealand, The Melbourne Sun, CNN, NPR's Talk of the Nation, More Magazine and Scientific American. She is the author of three books: Forensic Genealogy, DNA & Genealogy, and The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone.

Travel Information

Friday Evening Location: Power Center Ballroom,
1015 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.


The Power Center Ballroom is conveniently located in Uptown, a short walk from downtown, and easily accessed by public transportation.

Via Forbes Parking Garage

Park in the Forbes Garage and go to level 8. Exit the garage and cross the Sklar Skywalk to the Ballroom lobby.

Via Forbes Avenue

Enter the Power Center on Forbes Avenue. Take the elevator to Level 5. Exit the elevator and go left to enter the Ballroom.

Saturday Location: Bayer Hall, Pappert Lecture Hall

Hotel Information

Campus Map & Directions

Visitor Parking


If you have any questions please contact