Jurian Hoogewerff

Associate Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Projects in Forensic Geochemistry, Taphonomy, Forensic Chemistry.

1992 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Jurian Hoogewerff is presently the Director of the National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS) at the University of Canberra. The NCFS is a collaboration between the UC, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Canberra Institute of Technology (CiT).

Dr Hoogewerff studied geochemistry (M.Sc.) and volcanology (Ph.D.) at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands (1984-1993). The emphasis of his work was, and still is, using inorganic elemental and isotope ratio analysis to trace any natural material to its geographical origin.

During his PhD research he investigated the contribution of the Australian crust to volcanism in Eastern Indonesia.  In 1993 Dr Hoogewerff joined the Department of Health Sciences of University Maastricht to teach environmental sciences and develop tracers for the origin of pollutants from their source to environmental and biological targets including human tissues.  Dr Hoogewerff transferred to the Geotechnical Institute Arsenal Research in Vienna in 1996 where he continued his environmental exposure research, combining epidemiological data with newly created geochemical maps. Here he also started to apply his techniques for forensic casework and archaeological provenancing. His study on 5000 year old "Otzi" was the first isotope study on the Tyrolean Iceman.

With an EU grant in 1999 Dr Hoogewerff established the global analytical forensic network NITECRIME that included major national forensic research institutes like the NFI, BKA, US Customs and FBI. In 2006 NITECRIME almagated with the Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry network and Dr Hoogewerff was involved in its management until 2014. In 2000 Dr Hoogewerff moved to the Institute of Food Research in Norwich to manage their isotope facility for food forensics applications and human metabolism studies. Together with other colleagues he initiated the EU funded TRACE project (Euro20M) using the compositional links between soil and food for determining the geographical origin of food products to combat counterfeiting.

Dr Hoogewerff was Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich UK from 2006 to 2011 and developed and managed their "Forensic and Investigative Chemistry" four year MChem program. In September 2011 he relocated to Dunedin in New Zealand and first served one year as part-time Chief Scientist and Co-Director of Oritain Ltd. and then continued as Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago to expand their Forensic Analytical Science Program until December 2014.

In January 2015 Dr Hoogewerff moved to the NCFS. He convenes a number of on-campus and online units e.g. “Environmental and Forensic Geochemistry” and “Forensic Chemistry” and is the course convener of the Online Forensic Science MSc.

Dr. Hoogewerff is actively engaged in forensic casework and contributed to 70+ scientific papers and over 80 conference presentations including many invited keynotes. 

Research interests

 Research interests:

  • Forensic comparison and provenancing of soils using soil databases.
  • Analysis of micro-plastics in soil for environmental and forensic applications.
  • Mechanisms controlling forensic soil transfer.
  • Bioacoustics to monitor insect activity and succession in and around cadavers. 
  • Detection of illicit graves sites and caches using drome imaging.
  • Forensic multispectral photography.  

Research in collaboration with Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER) .

  • Detection of soils contaminated by human body fluids by VOC analysis.
  • Detection of human tissue decay using NIR spectroscopy.
  • Bioacoustics in and around human remains to monitor insect invasion and succession.
  • Long-term monitoring of vegetation on grave sites with time lapse cameras.

Students interested in Honours', Master's or PhD projects related to the topics above should contact Dr Hoogewerff by email.

Recent media highlights:

May 2017 Isdal Woman Case Norway

BBC Online: Isdal Woman Case

ABC Radio RN Drive: Isdal Woman Case 

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Isotope and trace element systematics of Eastern Indonesian Volcanoes, Utrecht University

Award Date: 24 Sep 1999

Master, • Petrologie, Geochemie en gasholten van de puimsteen van Yali, Griekenland, Utrecht University

Award Date: 1 Jul 1989

External positions

Vice-president ANZFSS ACT Branch, ANZFFS



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