Mr David Bryson

Position: Senior Lecturer Forensic Anthropology and Photography

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Natural Sciences

Subject area: Forensic Sciences

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I am based in Forensic Science Department of the College of Life and Natural Sciences with my teaching and research covering Forensic Anthropology and Photography. I also cover other specialist areas in Biosciences. My background is very much based around Anatomy/Osteology and Photography.


Teaching responsibilities

I am module leader for Forensic Imaging and Forensic Anthropology modules and I support other modules including core Forensic modules, Medical Forensics, Human Biology, Research Methods in Human Biology and Advanced Methods in Zoology.

I am the Programme Leader for the MRes/Integrated PhD lookng after the Research Skills aspects of the programme including teaching on the online modules Getting Research Published, Planning and Managing Research and Research Leadership. 

Professional interests

Professionally I cover cases requiring medicolegal or personal injury photography for solicitors primarily for plaintiffs but also for defence. Examples of recent work includes; photographs for a defence solicitor of a prisoner in HMP Winsome Green and medical negligence cases e.g. recording pressure sore scars.

I also design and develop learning materials and I have recently been developing online learning materials to encourage medical illustrators to write for the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine and website for blogs

Photograph of competitors from local schools measuring the speed of a bubble in liquids of different viscosities for the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench, East Midlands regional final.

Professionally I cover photographically any aspect that combines Science and Photography, though often my work in the University as well as supportign teaching and learning involves the production of materials for Press and Publicity for the College of Life and Natural Sciences and activities like the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench East Midlands Region, see

Research interests

Scientific, medico-legal and forensic photography, human identification, history of medicine including: 'History of acromegaly and gigantism' and 'Use of photography in medicine'. Education especially use of technology enhanced learning, learning objects and multimedia. Human osteology and osteopathology.

Recently I have been lookng at the use of Badges and Microcredentialing in teaching and learning.

Membership of professional bodies

Professional Qualifications:

  • Felllow of Higher Education Academy FHEA
  • Member of the Institute of Medical Illustrators MIMI
  • Medical Illustrator on the Register of the Academy of Heath Care Sciences
  • Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences MCSFS
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology FRSB


  • British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology
  • American Association of Physical Anthropology
  • Royal Photographic Society
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Society
  • Paleopathology Association

I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine responsible for the Professional section.


Undergraduate qualifications

  • BSc in Anatomy, University of Aberdeen

Postgraduate qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (including Visual Education), University of Aberystwyth

Recent publications

Towards a Working Methodology for Using Total Hip and Knee Joint Replacements to Support Identification. Austin J Forensic Sci Criminol. 2015; 2(3): 1026.

Journals and CPD. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine 2016; 39(1-2):73-76.

Focus Stacking: Extending the depth of field in close-up photography. Heritage Photography, Royal Photographic Society Spring 2016: 4–5. 

Professional language: understanding and being understood. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine 39(3-4): 158-159.

‌McCann, J. & Bryson, D. (eds) Textile-led design for the active ageing. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing, Co Ltd. Published September 2014. Including my chapters:

  • Chapter 2: Technological culture and the active ageing: A lifetime of technological advances.
  • Chapter 11: The importance of anatomical and physiological changes with age.
  • Chapter 28: The adoption and non-adoption of new technologies by the active ageing

Textile-led design for the active ageing population

Recent conferences

The Challenge of Fire Scene Photography: is High Dynamic Range Imaging a solution? Fire & Explosives Investigation – Challenges and Opportunities Workshop. Knowledge Transfer Network, Forensic Science, Special Interest Group, London, January 13th 2015.
Published in Fire and Explosives Investigation 2015, Challenges and Opportunities and Explosives Investigation - Challenges and Opportunities?version=1.0.

Osteological Photography and the Anglo-Saxons from Little Chester, The Royal Photographic Society, Archaeology and Heritage Group, Annual Conference 10th October 2015.

Digital Badges: The practice and potential at Derby, Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Derby, Buxton, July 4th, 2016 (Munib Hadi and David Bryson).

Personal Injury Photography: Principles and Practice, Institute of Medical Illustrators Conference, Glasgow, 16th September 2016.

Developing Badge Eco-systems to support engagement in class-based and online learning. ICERI Presented by Dominic Petronzi, Academic Innovation Hub.

Additional interests and activities

I am regularly called on to support Press and Public relations by taking photographs for publicity purposes as well as being involved in outreach through events like Science, Light and Photography for StemPunk and making pinhole cameras and pinhole photography for DerwentWise Project and Family Fun Days at Kedleston Road.‌

Several of my photographs have featured in the International Imaging Science Competition run annually by the Royal Society of Photography sponsored by Siemens for 2015 and 2016.

This close-up of the maxilla shows an impacted third molar that has come through the bone side ways rather than down alongside the 2nd molar the the right in the photograph. This specimen is part of an Anglo-Saxon from the Little Chester Collection loaned by the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

Impacted 3rd Molar - See more at:

Experience in industry

After training at the University Hospital of Wales as a medical photographer I worked at Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee then ran my own business as a Medical and Personal Injury photographer in the Bromsgrove and Redditch area for over 12 years before teaching Medical and Technical Photography at Berkshire College of Art and Design then moving to the University of Derby to become Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Biolological Imaging. 

Whilst at the University I have maintained my Professional Practice in Personal Injury Photography and developed aspects of Scientific Photography, see

International experience

I have represented the University at International Careers Fairs in Taiwan, presented research findings about Smart Clothing and Wearable Technology at the International Sporting Goods Conferences in Shanghai, undertaken a recruitment visit to Bandung, Java and shown Leonardo Project developments at ISPO, Frankfurt.

In the media

Radio interview about what can tell from bones after finds in Friargate November 2016.

Part of team for upcoming Radio quiz Show 3rd degree, recorded at the Unversity in February.

The use of infrared photography to see through cover-up tattoos and its forensic applications was on Radio 5 Live and Radio Derby as well as BBC, Central and Sky Local TV.

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