Dr. Ferrara is a former biologist at the U.S. Army Crime Investigation Laboratory and a forensics specialist/contractor for the Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP).
She began working in the Duquesne University Forensics Science and Law program in May 2012, as a grant coordinator/program assistant and became an instructor in 2014.
Dr. Ferrara teaches advanced forensic DNA analysis, quality assurance, along with the seminar and research defense courses. Her research focuses on forensic science ethics through the improvement of ethics education and the examination of ethical issues facing the forensic science community. Her dissertation focused on the contribution of ethical reasoning skills in forensic science. Key research examines the reasoning processes used by investigators and forensic scientists and the effect this process has on decision-making. She also continues to research improved DNA analysis methods such as probabilistic genotyping software for improved DNA mixture interpretation.
Dr. Ferrara's actively engaged with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence through workshops and report writing. She's helped author the "Landscape Study of DNA Mixture Interpretation Software" and organize the webinar series "Improving the Response to Sexual Assault within Special Populations."
• Forensic ethics
• Ethical reasoning
• DNA analysis
• DNA mixture interpretation
Ph.D., Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University, 2018
M.S. Forensic Science & Law, Duquesne University, 2009
B.S. Biology, Duquesne University, 2008
FORE 101 Introduction to Forensic Science & Criminal Law
FORE 521 Forensic DNA Analysis/Interpretation/Statistics
FORE 522 Quality Assurance & Laboratory Administration Management
FORE 550 Seminar/Journal Club
FORE 640 Research Defense
FORE 650 Advanced DNA Topics: Non-Human DNA
Coffman, S.R., Ferrara, L.N. "Using Online Learning and Gamification to Enhance Reasoning Skills". Anaheim, CA. American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Meeting February 2020.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "Development and Test of an Abductive Reasoning Ethics Module for Forensic Science Majors." New York, NY. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting April 2018.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "Using Forensic Cases to Improve Ethical Reasoning Skills." Seattle, WA. American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Meeting February 2018.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "How Abductive Reasoning Impacts Criminal Investigations." Pittsburgh, PA. Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences (MAAFS) Meeting May 2017.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "Creating an Ethical Reasoning Curriculum for Forensic Science Majors." New Orleans, LA. American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Meeting February 2017.
Ferrara, L.N. "Duquesne University Research Collaborations." Cambridge, MD. Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS) Annual Meeting May 2015.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "Six Modes of Peircean Reasoning and Crime Scene Investigation Education." Washington D.C. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting April 2016.
Ferrara, L.N., J. Schreiber. "How Abductive Reasoning Impacts Criminal Investigations." Las Vegas, NV. American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Meeting February 2016.
Schantz, L.N., S. Hochendoner, L. Ludvico. "Comparison of Surfactants for the Transfer of Touch DNA." Denver, CO. AAFS Meeting February 2009.
Schantz, L.N., R. Freeman, N. Sciulli, C. Spencer. "Corresponding with ‘The Happy Face Killer' - A Case Study." Denver, CO. AAFS Meeting February 2009.
Schantz, L.N., L. Ludvico. "Genetic Sex Determination of Amur Tiger." (Poster) Washington, D.C. AAFS Meeting February 2008.