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 field of Forensic Ecology and am currently exploring insect-microbe interactions in the corpse environment 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. 

I am an external examiner for an MSc course in Forensic Science, and for PhD students in the area of biomedical and forensic science. I also regularly review journal articles for several peer-reviewed journals within my field.

Teaching responsibilities

I lead and teach modules on Trace Evidence and Wildlife Crime and Forensic Entomology. 

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

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

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