IABPA Conference 2010 – Lisbon, Portugal

IABPA Conference 2009 Lisbon, PortugalA couple of weeks ago I attended the third European IABPA conference in Lisbon, Portugal. As with the last conference in Porland, Oregon, it was a busy one for me. Thanks to Lino Henriques [Policia Judiciária, Portugal] and his team for organizing it and inviting me to give workshops.

I had the opportunity to present two 2-hour workshops again at this conference and based on the feedback I received I think they went well. I still have some work to fit it in to the 2 hour slots, but I think it’s getting there. Thanks to all the participants for taking the time to attend and gave me feedback.

The talks which stood out for me – ones I hadn’t seen before – included Michael Taylor’s [Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand] demonstration of high speed video to study backspatter associated with ballistic impacts, Maurice Aalders’s [Academisch Medisch Centrum, The Netherlands] talk on using optical spectroscopic techniques to detect, recognize, and age blood, and of course Karla de Bruin’s [Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands] talk on how to improve area-of-origin calculations in BackTrack and HemoSpat.

In the first part of Karla’s talk, she showed that the results produced by BackTrack and HemoSpat are equally good [which is a good thing since they’re based on the same mathematics!]. The second part of the talk on stain selection, though, was more interesting. I think her work on stain selection is very important as it has never been studied in depth – the textbooks are all vague on what constitutes good “size, shape, and location” – and it seems to be taught differently depending on who’s doing the teaching. I look forward to seeing her paper on this.

As usual it was great to see old friends and make new ones. Glad to see a couple of students there – one from the UK and one from Poland. Their enthusiasm showed and they added a bit of life to it. I had some interesting dinners and talks over drinks with the ladies from Scotland – who I hear are organizing a whiskey tour followed by a bit of conference – and with some of the Dutch, French, Swedish, Danish, and Swiss participants. How do you tell if green wine is corked, anyways?

Thanks to everyone and I look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA in October 2010, or Nantes, France in 2012!

Andy Maloney
Lead Developer, HemoSpat