Staff profile

Dr Samantha Drake

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Chemistry

Samantha Drake


Forensic Science


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I teach a broad range of chemistry topics, particularly those relating to the analysis of samples of forensic interest.

Teaching responsibilities

I lead the following modules on the Forensic Science, Human Biology, Biomedical Science, Biology and Zoology undergraduate degree programmes:

I also teach on the following modules:

In addition to this, I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research projects in the area of analytical chemistry, with a particular interest in drug analysis and entomotoxicology.

Professional interests

I am passionate about breaking the common misconceptions that Chemistry is a difficult, dull subject.  To achieve this, I use an enthusiastic and engaging delivery style supplemented by a blended teaching approach utilising technology enhanced study materials as appropriate, all with a firm emphasis on real world context.  I am also a keen advocate for students as partners in their own learning and was recently voted onto the Student Experience, Learning and Teaching Committee.  Prior to this, I was a member of the college learning and teaching strategy group.

Research interests

I have a number of research interests relating to the application of analytical chemistry to real world challenges.  These include the chiral analysis of drugs of abuse to provide an enhanced chemical profile for determining their source; and the analysis of volatile organic compounds produced during post-mortem decay.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate Qualifications 

Postgraduate Qualifications 

Research Qualifications

Recent conferences

In 2018, I presented my work on the use of videos for learning, teaching and assessment at the University of Derby's Learning and Teaching Conference.  Prior to this, I have also presented my work on the chiral analysis of drugs of abuse at conferences across the UK.

International experience

I was invited to speak at the Beijing Institute of Forensic Medicine and Science in China on Raman and SERS Spectroscopy in the Analysis of Inks Using a FORAM 685-2 Raman Spectral Comparator.

Additional interests and activities

I sit on the Royal Society of Chemistry's East Midlands Regional Section Committee. As part of this role, I also organise the regional final of the RSC's Top of the Bench Competition on an annual basis.

In the media

Spoke on BBC Radio Derby to discuss the change in regulations for prescribing cannabis-based medicinal products (2018).

Spoke on BBC Radio Derby regarding the discovery of 4 new elements in the periodic table (2016)

Recent publications