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 the Editor 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 currently the President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and previously was 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 alos be 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


External positions

Member of the ACT Medicinal Advisory Committee

17 Jul 2017 → …

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Projects 2008 2016

Research Output 2007 2017

  • 30 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 2 Conference contribution
  • 1 Review article
2 Citations
Geographical regions
1 Citations

A systems approach to forensic science applied in the military domain

Wilson, L. E., Gahan, M. E., Lennard, C. & Robertson, J. 9 Apr 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A comparison of conventional microspectrophotometry and hyperspectral imaging for the analysis of blue metallic paint samples

Chua, P., Hemmings, J., Otieno-Alego, V., Blee, A., ROBERTSON, J. & Lennard, C. 2016 In : Journal of Forensic Identification. 66, 5, p. 429-453 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reinstating soil examination as a trace evidence sub-discipline

Woods, B., Lennard, C., Kirkbride, K. & ROBERTSON, J. 2016 Soil in Criminal and Environmental Forensics, Proceedings of the Soil Forensics Special, 6th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, The Hague. Eijkel, H. K. L. V. D. (ed.). Switzerland: Springer, Vol. 1, p. 107-120 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution