Ms Emma Johnston

Job: Lecturer in Forensic Biology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH

T: 0116 207 8676



Personal profile

Emma Johnston is an experienced forensic scientist with a strong background in DNA profiling and international experience. Having worked for one of the largest forensic science providers in the UK she has experience in examining items for DNA evidence, DNA extraction, PCR and capillary electrophoresis. Emma has prepared numerous DNA statements for the criminal justice system and presented DNA evidence in court on a number of occasions.

Emma spent two years working with the Department of Forensic Genetics at the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, where she gained experience of the application of forensic science to human rights investigations. In Guatemala, Emma delivered a number of research and development projects related to DNA profiling from degraded skeletal remains.

Emma is currently undertaking doctoral research into the role of forensic science in the identification of missing migrants.

Research interests/expertise

Forensic Biology

DNA Profiling

Degraded DNA

Humanitarian Forensic Action

Disaster Victim Identification

Areas of teaching

Forensic Biology

Bodies, Tissues, Fluids

DNA Profiling

Trip Lead for the #DMUglobal Forensic Anthropology Field School of Guatemala (FAFG) Field School


BSc Biology

MSc Forensic Science

Courses taught

BSc Forensic Science

Membership of professional associations and societies

Professional Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

International Society for Forensic Genetics

Recent research outputs

Johnston E, Ames CE, Dagnall KE, Foster J, Daniel BE. Comparison of presumptive blood test kits including hexagon OBTI. Journal of Forensic Sciences 2008 May;53(3)687-9.

Johnston E, Stephenson M. DNA profiling success rates from degraded skeletal remains in Guatemala. Journal of Forensic Sciences 2016 (currently online only)