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Forensic Geology

October 17, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm



The Applications of Geology to Police and Law Enforcement

The 2019 Richard Lancelyn Green Lecture will be held on Thursday 17th October 2019 at the National Liberal Club at 1, Whitehall Place, London, SW1, at 6.00 for 6.45pm.    The National Liberal Club is located on the corner of Whitehall Place and the Victoria Embankment, not far from Embankment Underground Station, and also conveniently placed for Charing Cross main line station.  It is usually possible to find a parking space in the vicinity at this time in the evening – although you may have to pay the congestion charge.  http://www.savageclub.com/

Members and their guests may opt to attend the meeting only at £14.00, or to dine beforehand at a cost of £46.00 per head.  This includes VAT and service but not drinks, which must be paid for on the day.   For those who choose to dine, the meal will comprise Beef, Mushroom and Ale Pie, Vanilla Pannacotta, Key Lime Curd, Granola followed by Coffee and Mints.  A vegetarian or fish alternative main course may be ordered in advance – please specify if you want this on the application form.  A cash bar will be open in the Smoking Room on the first floor of the building from 6.00pm.  After the meeting, members may use the National Liberal Club bar.  Dinner will be served promptly at 6.45pm in the David Lloyd George Room, also on the first floor and will be followed by the meeting itself from around 8pm.

We are particularly honoured this year to have as our speaker Dr. Laurance Donnelly, a  chartered geologist and chartered scientist with a first class honours degree and PhD in geology.  Dr. Donnelly has 29 years’ international experience in mineral exploration, mining, geohazards, engineering geology and forensic geology.  He has provided operational support for UK Police investigators over the past 25 years, including crime scene examination and sample collection, geological trace evidence analysis and the design and implementation of a new and innovative ground search strategy for high profile burials related to; missing persons, homicide, serious and organised crime, and counter terrorism.

Dr. Donnelly established the Forensic Geoscience Group of the Geological Society of London and served as its first chair.  He subsequently became the founder and chair of the International Union of Geological Sciences Initiative on Forensic Geology.  He is registered with the UK Police National Crime Agency (NCA) as an ‘Expert Adviser’ and  he is an invited member of the Home Office Centre for Applied Science & Technology, Search Technology User Group.  He has approximately 250 publications and has delivered over 150 guest and keynote lectures around the world, including at Westminster Place, House of Commons.  He is the recipient of outstanding and recognition awards from the Institution of Mining & Metallurgy, the Geological Society of London, the Geological Society of America, and the Russian Federal Centre of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice of Russia in Moscow.

Forensic Geology is the application of geology to police and criminal investigations, as used by Sherlock Holmes.

Geological (trace) evidence involves the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation and explanation of geological evidence.  This may vary considerably and may include, for example, rock fragments, soils and sediments, which occur naturally on the ground, artificial (anthropogenic) man-made materials derived from geological raw materials (such as bricks, concrete, glass or plasterboard), or micro-fossils.  These may be transferred on to a body, person or the clothing of a victim or offender.  This evidence may then be  used to  see if there could be an association between different items or objects.

Geologists assist the police by searching for and locating objects buried in the ground.  This includes homicide graves, mass graves related to genocide, weapons, firearms, improvised devises, explosives, drugs, stolen items, money, coinage and jewellery.

This lecture provides a general overview of the history and  recent developments in forensic geology and how geologists have supported the Police with crimes including serious sexual crimes, murders, robbery, terrorism, fakes, fraud, theft, ground searches, environmental crime and geotechnical failures.  It draws on operational case experiences and provides information on the logistical aspects of working as a geologist with the police.

Please note:

This lecture will show crime scenes and human remains.

Photographs and recording are not permitted.

Applications should be sent to arrive not later than Saturday 5th October. 

Dress is smart casual and gentlemen are asked to wear a jacket and tie.  Anyone attending a Society function for the first time should bring along and display their yellow cards of introduction, so that we can identify them and introduce them to our members.  They should also note that applications are not normally acknowledged nor are tickets sent.  We look forward to seeing everyone on the night.  If an acknowledgement is required, please provide an e-mail address or a stamped, addressed envelope with your application.

Download full details and appliation form


October 17, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


National Liberal Club
Whitehall Place
London, SW1 United Kingdom
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