Professor Lorna Dawson


04122017040520170409 (RS)A farmer's daughter from Angus, soil has been in Professor Lorna Dawson's family for generations. She just didn't expect her relationship with soil to lead her into a scientific career of solving crime. Now Principal Soil Scientist at the James Hutton Institute she has for over 25 years' researched soil and plant interactions.

It was when she was an Edinburgh geology student that her mind was drawn towards forensics. One evening 2 teenage girls went missing from near her student halls, they turned up dead the next day. Little did Lorna know that one day she would become pivotal in the forensic case of The World's End murders.

Her role as Head of the Soil Forensic Science Group has led her to work on over 70 criminal cases across the globe. It's the detailed analysis of the microbial DNA held within the soil that has led to her pioneering work becoming so effective at finding bodies, caches of drugs and overturning alibi's in courtrooms.

There is however one case that she has been working on for several years which remains incomplete. In this episode of Brainwaves Pennie Latin joins Lorna Dawson on site as she starts a new search for the remains of the missing Scottish schoolgirl Moira Anderson.