Texas Tech University

Institute for Forensic Science

Mission Statement

The Institute for Forensic Science at Texas Tech University is committed to the production and dissemination of interdisciplinary forensic science research through a unique multidisciplinary program that provides outstanding education, research, and professional training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at TTU, and local and regional law enforcement. The Institute is a comprehensive teaching, training, and research organization in all aspects of forensic science. The Institute is committed to providing outstanding service to the university, profession, and community. We are committed to supporting local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies through the sharing of ideas, problem-solving, and empiricism promoting prosocial values and contributing to safer communities.


The Institute for Forensic Science is located at 4434 South Loop 289 in Lubbock.  We are on the South side of Lubbock on the access road between Quaker and Slide. To get directions from your location, click here.


  • September 27, 2016: Courtney Brown (graduate student, forensic sciences) presented a podium presentation entitled "Arsenic fed piglets: Assessing arsenic levels in decomposing pig muscle and soil samples" at the 2016 Annual Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists conference in Galveston, TX.

Courtney Brown presenting at the SWAFS conference

  • September 15, 2016: Interested in skeletal biology? There is an upcoming course in Crete for Summer I 2017, ANTH 4643/5315 Field Research in Skeletal Biology. For more information, contact Dr. Paine or review the flier. These classes are merely provided as a convenience or informational resource. They do not imply nor represent an endorsement by Texas Tech University or its affiliates.
  • August 4, 2016: Dr. Thoen and several members from her lab presented a poster entitled "Impact of Cultural, Criminogenic, and Psycholegal Characteristics on Indigent Defense" at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association under Division 41 (American Psychology-Law Society) in Denver, CO. Pictured from left to right are Braden Anderson (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Bailea Coffel (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Chaise Edwards (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), Dr. Thoen, and Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez (graduate student, Forensic Science). Other poster authors not pictured: Kevan Galyean (staff, Institute for Forensic Science), Stephanie Van Horn (graduate student, Psychological Sciences), Breanna Turner (graduate student, Forensic Science), and Crystal Blair (graduate student, Interdisciplinary Studies).Presentation of research poster at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, entitled "Impact of Cultural, Criminogenic, and Psycholegal Characteristics on Indigent Defense."
  • July 2016: Dr. Paola Prada was elected member of the Dogs and Sensors subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) housed in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). OSAC coordinates the development of standards and guidelines for the forensic science community to enhance quality and consistency across the forensic science field.
  • May 2016: Dr. Robert Paine, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Forensic Sciences Graduate and Undergraduate Programs at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, delivered a training at Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) in Burgos (Spain).
  • April 2016: FSCI students Brittany Koon and Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez were awarded Hillcrest Scholarships in Forensic Science for 2016.
  • March 2016: FSCI student Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez was awarded the Spring 2016 Research Fund Award to support her Master's thesis work entitled, "Related Factors to Aggression in Correctional Officers from Costa Rica."
  • December 2015: Two members of the Institute were awarded the 2015 Matador Award for their service to the university, Priscilla Reid (Training Coordinator) and Mark Hendley (for his work in Psychological Sciences as Unit Coordinator).
  • November/December 2015: Texas Tech University's Institute for Forensic Science and Canine Intelligence Academy (CIA) jointly present the course "Canine Detection Evaluations- Advancing Canine Team Performance through Improved Assessments and Validation" given by faculty member Dr. Paola Prada, and CIA's canine instructor Donald Blair, at the Colombian National Police Handler and Canine Training Academy in Facatativa, Colombia, November 30- December 2, 2015.


Institute for Forensic Science