Sue Pope - DNA Expert

Sue Pope – DNA Expert

Sue is an internationally acknowledged expert in the interpretation of DNA profiles. As Principal Scientist for the Forensic Science Service, she specialised in the introduction of new techniques for the analysis, interpretation and evaluation of DNA, working as a researcher, court reporting scientist, teacher and mentor. She has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of the production, interpretation, delivery and understanding of forensic evidence at all stages and by all participants in the Criminal Justice System.

Sue joined the Forensic Science Service as a DNA researcher during the early work on the introduction of DNA profiling into forensic science, later moving into casework as a Biology Court Reporting Officer before helping to set up an STR Unit, working as an analyst and specialist DNA Reporting Officer. She has given evidence in major cases at courts on a range of biological evidence types, specialising in the introduction of new DNA techniques and the statistical evaluation of complex DNA results, within the UK and abroad. She worked with Dr Ian Evett on the Case Assessment and Interpretation project, developing ideas on how scientists interpret forensic evidence and arrive at an opinion.

Sue has published many papers and was a co-winner of the PW Allen award for 2010 for the paper Calculating likelihood ratios for a mixed DNA profile when a contribution from a genetic relative of a suspect is proposed, Roberto Puch-Solis, Sue Pope and Ian Evett, Science & Justice (2010) 40 (4) 205-9. She is particularly interested in exploring ways of explaining complex forensic issues to non-scientists within the legal setting and has recently co-authored Practitioner Guide No 2: Assessing the Probative Value of DNA Evidence, Guidance for Judges, Lawyers, Forensic Scientists and Expert Witnesses, Roberto Puch-Solis, Paul Roberts, Susan Pope, Colin Aitken, (March 2012), intended as guidance for judges, lawyers, forensic scientists and expert witnesses.

Sue has been the external examiner for the BSc in Forensic Biology at Strathclyde University and the Lead Assessor for Human Contact Traces for the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, and is a member of the Specialist DNA Working Group of the Forensic Regulator. She has developed and delivered training courses, assessments and post-course assurance programmes for the FSS and others, including courses for ENFSI and has lectured regularly to the Judicial Studies Board, Pathologists, and MSc students at Kings and Imperial Colleges.

As part of the quality programme of the FSS, she developed protocols, carried out audits and investigated quality failures, producing recovery plans for the future and investigating any effects on previous work.

In March 2012 she became an independent DNA Consultant as the director of DNA Principal Forensics. She is also a co-director of Principal Forensic Services Ltd.

Further details can be found on Sue’s LinkedIn page.

Sue Pope can be contacted at: