Staff profile

Dr Kate Barnes

Lecturer in Forensic Biology


Forensic Science


College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am Programme Leader for MRes in Forensic Science and Lecturer in Forensic Biology. I teach on the Forensic Science, Biology and Zoology undergraduate programmes and Forensic Science postgraduate programme. I gained my undergraduate degree from the University of Exeter and I received a PhD from the University of Lincoln in the field of Forensic Entomology, looking at competitive interactions between microbes and insects in the corpse environment. My research sits within the field of Forensic Ecology, currently exploring insect-microbe interactions and assessing the effect of environmental conditions on blow fly behaviour. I regularly publish my work in peer-reviewed journals and present at research conferences. 

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the Biology, Zoology and Forensic Science undergraduate degree programmes and contribute to the following modules:

I am Programme Leader for the MRes in Forensic Science and Module Leader for Independent Research and Essential Skills for Scientists.

Research interests

My research is focused in the areas of forensic entomology and microbiology and centres on the interactions between carrion feeding insects and the microbes in the decomposition environment. I am 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.

In addition, I am interested in how the environment influences blow fly activity and oviposition with a view to better understand the pre-colonisation period and more accurately determine species-specific colonisation times.

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

Additional interests and activities

In the media

Recent publications