Speakers at University Campus

Professor Jack BallantyneIn February 2013, Professor Jack Ballantyne of the University of Central Florida, the interim director at the National Center for Forensic Science in Orlando, FL, spoke to science students at the invitation of the Beta Beta Beta Society. Dr. Ballantyne (pictured) spoke on “DNA Identification in Criminal and Mass Fatality Investigations.”

Dr. Ballantyne has a background in law enforcement, as well as in academia. He holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, a Master of Science in forensic science from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and a Ph.D. in genetics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to entering academia, he was a casework forensic scientist in Scotland, Hong Kong, and New York, where he proffered expert testimony in cases in criminal courts. Among other activities, he is a regular visiting guest at the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) and was a member of the World Trade Center Kinship and Data Analysis Panel (KADAP).

Professor Ballatyne’s UCF faculty page states, “The goal of my laboratory is to conduct pure and applied research to improve the capacities and capabilities of bio-molecular forensic scientists to either associate an individual with, or exclude falsely accused individuals from, a particular crime. My research areas include the development of novel Y chromosome genetic markers, the assessment and in vitro repair of DNA damage, tissue source identification by RNA expression profiling, the determination of individual physical characteristics by DNA typing and ‘smart’ single cell or low copy number analysis.”

Coming in 2014

Saint Leo University will host for several days Robert Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H., a leading spokesperson on global warming and former CEO of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is coming through the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow program, which is sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges to help bring the nation’s foremost thinkers to colleges and universities such as Saint Leo. Stay tuned to news and updates from the university for exact days of Dr. Musil’s visit and talks.

In the meantime, you might hear more about his books in the media. His newest book, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment, will be published in 2014. Dr. Musil teaches about global climate change and energy policy in Washington, DC, at American University’s School of Public Affairs.