Staff profile

Dr Kate Barnes

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Biology

Kate teaching a student in one of the forensic labs at the University of Derby.


Forensic Science


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Biology and teach on the Forensic Science, Biology and Zoology undergraduate programmes.

I actively research within the fields of Forensic Entomology and Taphonomy and am currently exploring the effect of habitat and deposition scenarios on insect succession and environmental conditions on blowfly behaviour. I regularly publish my work in peer-reviewed journals and present at research conferences. 

I work as an external examiner for MSc courses and PhD students and guest lecture at other universities. I also regularly review journal articles for several peer-reviewed journals within my field.

I provide training courses in forensic entomology and insect collection techniques to forensic practitioners and work as a consultant entomologist for local councils and forensic providers.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach aspects of entomology, botany, microbiology and taphonomy in Forensic Science, Biology and Zoology modules across the undergraduate degree programmes.

I supervise research students in projects related to my research topics of forensic entomology, microbiology and taphonomy.

Professional interests

Research interests

My research is focused on the areas of forensic entomology and taphonomy and centres around using insects in minimum time since death estimations. I am currently exploring how the environment influences blowfly activity and oviposition with a view to better understanding the pre-colonisation period and more accurately determining species-specific colonisation times and the effect of habitat and deposition scenarios on insect succession.

I am also interested in how insects and microbes colonising human remains change over time and how the microbes influence insect behaviour and development. This work contributes to our understanding and interpretation of forensic ecological evidence in terms of the minimum post-mortem interval estimation.

My research also has links with human medicine and environmental health, for example, I study the antibacterial activities of carrion-feeding insects, such as the blow fly Lucilia sericata (the species used in Maggot Debridement Therapy) and blow flies as vectors of disease.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Research posts

In the media

Recent publications