James Robertson

Professorial Fellow

Accepting PhD Students

1982 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


James obtained his first degrees from the University of Glasgow, BSc (Hons ) and Phd in the 1970's and  lectured in forensic science at the University of Strathclyde until 1985 when he moved to Australia. He was a senior case worker in South Australia until joining the Australian Federal Police in 1989 to head up their forensic group. Under his leadership the latter developed into an internationally recognized centre of forensic excellence. James retired from the AFP in 2010 to join UC as a Professorial Fellow and as Director of the  National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS).

James is, or has been, an honorary or Adjunct professor at several universities in Australian and overseas. He has edited or coedited a book series and several forensic text books , has well over 150 papers and has delivered numerous invited and plenary lectures at international conferences. He is  Editor Emeritus of the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences and on the editorial boards of several other journals. James was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Canberra in 2007.

James is  the immediate past President  and Hon Life member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.  He was  previously  the Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society, Chaired the Advisory Forum to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences ( NIFS ) and the Standards Australia Forensic Committee.

James has broad teaching and research interests and specific interests in trace evidence and how the forensic sciences contribute to the criminal justice system.

James is a Fellow of the NSW Royal Society(FRSN) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM) He  has been  awarded the Public Service Medal(PSM) and is a Member in the Order of Australia(AM) .

Research interests

  • Trace evidence including botany, fibres , hairs and soils
  • The effective use of forensic science in the CJS
  • Forensic security and  intelligence


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Member of the ACT Medicinal Advisory Committee

17 Jul 2017 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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