Dr Sarah Hall

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Biomedical and Forensic Science

Location: Cambridge

Sarah has considerable experience in various forensic science analytical techniques and of working in accredited analytical laboratories. Her primary research focuses on the environmental forensic analysis, wildlife forensics and fire investigation.

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sarah.hall@anglia.ac.uk

Background

Sarah started her career working in analytical chemistry laboratories specialising in the area of thermal analysis and then graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Environmental Science. She then worked in accredited laboratories as a laboratory manager and plant chemist in environmental analysis and waste treatment. She earned her doctorate studying the mechanism and kinetics of a novel solid drinking water sterilising formula based on chlorine dioxide (sponsored by a Schering Plough).

Currently, Sarah is a member and the head of our Forensic and Investigative Sciences Chemistry Research Group. She has published several peer-review articles and presented at research conferences in the areas of the detection of drugs of abuse in sewage, raw waters and drinking water, pharmaceuticals in hair and feather samples and fire debris analysis.

Research interests

  • Environmental forensic analysis of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and their detection in hair/wool/fur/feather matrices as a tool for early detection as a preventative approach in wildlife forensics and assessing exposure levels of newer pollutants 
  • The detection of emerging pollutants such as drugs of abuse (including novel psychoactive substances) and pharmaceuticals (including anti-depressants and NSAIDs) in sewage (sewage epidemiology), raw and ground waters and drinking water. (collaborating with various water companies) 
  • The use of a newly developed adsorbent for sampling of ignitable liquids residues from a fire scene and suspects hands 
  • Fire debris analysis and fire investigation 
  • Flammability of paraffin based skin ointments (in collaboration with Essex’s Fire and Rescue and Essex AGEUK) 
  • Water sterilisation and waste treatments methods

Areas of research supervision

  • PhD supervisor (1st supervisor); Alix Greeves: The detection of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in alternative non-invasive biological matrices, with emphasis on samples from endangered species. (Successful completion/award November 2016)
  • PhD supervisor (2nd supervisor); Chipo Kuleya: Synthesis and profiling of piperazines. (Successful completion/award May 2015)
  • PhD supervisor (2nd supervisor); Ellen Mwenesongole: The analysis of surface water, waste water and sewage for illicit drugs. (Successful completion/award April 2015)
  • PhD supervisor (1st supervisor); Garry White: A new adsorbent mixture for the collection of common ignitable liquid residue vapours. (Successful completion/award April 2015)
  • PhD (1st supervisor); Ngaio Richards: Detection of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the hair of livestock and in the feathers of scavenging raptors, with emphasis on diclofenac. (Successful completion/award August 2010)
  • PhD supervisor (1st supervisor); Yan Peng: Evaluation of the presence of drugs and pharmaceuticals in drinking water and their removal by drinking water treatment plants (DWTP). (Submitted for examination November 2016)
  • PhD supervisor (2nd supervisor); Ebiye Adipere: Organic chemical characterisation and inorganic impurity profiling of selected street piperazines. A sustainable Approach in Forensic Toxicology (stared 2013) 
  • PhD supervisor (2nd supervisor); Aina Olujimi Olusola: The pattern and use of herbal medicine in Nigeria: identification of chemical constituents and epidemiological study (started 2014)

Teaching

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BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies
Module Leader of Specialist Topics in Investigative Sciences

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
Module Leader of Physical and Quantitative Chemistry
Module Leader of Introduction to Analytical Chemistry and Laboratory Quality Management
Module Leader of Advanced Fire and Explosions

Contributes to Physical Criminalistics
Contributes to Chemical Criminalistics
Contributes to Project Preparation and Final Year Project Supervision

Memberships, editorial boards

Member, Royal Society of Chemistry

RSC representative, Anglia Ruskin University

Member of the IAAI

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Editorial board member for Journal of Forensic Science and Criminology

External examiner (MSc provision in Forensic Science) Liverpool John Moores University, Jan 2016.

Accreditation advisor for the Chartered Forensic Science Society (2015)

External examiner (MSc Forensic Science (DNA/Body fluids); MSc Forensic Science (Toxicology); MSc Forensic Anthropology; MSc Forensic Entomology and MSc Forensic and Analytical Science) Huddersfield University; Sept 2014

External examiner (Chemical Sciences: Forensic Science (BSc (hons) and MSc Drug Design and Discovery) University of the West of Scotland. Finished Sept 2013

External examiner (Forensic Science FdSc Weymouth College) Bournemouth University. Finished Sept 2014

Selected recent publications

Peng, Y., Hall, S., and Gautam, L. “Drugs of abuse in drinking water - a review of current detection methods, occurrence, elimination and health risks” Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2016, 85, C, pp. 232-240.

Hall, S., White, G., and Gautam, L. “The development of a novel adsorbent for collecting ignitable liquid residues from a fire scene” Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 2016, 122, pp. 204-314.

Peng, Y., Hall, S., and Gautam, L. “Detection of drugs of abuse and pharmaceuticals in drinking water” (oral presentation) International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Public Health, China, May 2016.

Hall, S., White, G., and Gautam, L., “A novel adsorbent for the recovery and positive identification of ignitable liquids using GC-MS-ATD” (oral presentation; Hall, S.,), 18th edition of EuroAnalysis, The European Conference on Analytical Chemistry, Bordeaux, Sept. 2015

Ngaio L Richards, Sarah W Hall, Nancy M Harrison, Lata Gautam, Karen S Scott, Geraldine Dowling, Irene Zorilla and Iñigo Fajardo.   Merging Wildlife and Environmental Monitoring Approaches with Forensic Principles: Application of Unconventional and Non-Invasive Sampling in Eco-Pharmacovigilance. Forensic Research, 2014, 5:3. http://omicsonline.org/open-access/merging-wildlife-and-environmental-monitoring-approaches-with-forensic-principles-application-of-unconventional-and-noninvasive-sampling-in-eco-pharmacovigilance-2157-7145.1000228.php?aid=26623

Greeves, A., Hall, S., Gautam, L., and Cole, M.D. Environmental Toxicology: Forensic Approach in the Detection of NSAIDs. http://www.forensicmag.com/articles/2013/11/environmental-toxicology-forensic-approach-detection-nsaids, 11/07/13.

* Kuleya, C., Cole, M., Hall, S., Gautam, L., An optimised gas chromatographic – mass spectrometric method for the chemical characterisation of benzylpiperazine and 1-arypiperazine based drugs, 2014, Analytical Methods, 6, pp. 156-163.

Mewnesongole, E., Gautam, L., Hall, S., Waterhouse, J., and Cole, M.D., Simultaneous Detection of Controlled Substances in Wastewater. Analytical Methods, 2013, 5, pp. 3248-3254.

Mwensesongole, E. Gautam, L., and Hall S., Detection of Drugs of Abuse in Waste Water (oral presentation). 9th National FORREST (FORensic RESearch & Teaching) Conference, June 2013.

Barnett, G. , Hall S., and Dawkins J., The advantages of using Compressed Air Foam to extinguish fire scenes containing forensic  evidence (oral presentation) 9th National FORREST (FORensic RESearch & Teaching) Conference, June 2013.

Leal, C., Hall, S, and Hadjicostas, D., Investigation of burns from cigarettes and naked flames on different substrates impregnated with white soft paraffin (Undergraduate poster) 9th National FORREST (FORensic RESearch & Teaching) Conference, June 2013.

Mwenesongole, E., Gautam, L., Hall, S., Waterhouse, J., (2013) The detection of emerging drugs of abuse in wastewater using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. EuroANALYSIS, The European Conference on Analytical Chemistry 27th August.

Mwenesongole, E., Gautam. L., Hall, S., Waterhouse, J., (2013) The use of derivatisation to increase method sensitivity and specificity for the detection of drugs of abuse in waste water. BMSS conference, Eastbourne, 9-11th September.

White, G., Hall, S., and Gautam, G.  “Ignitable Liquid identification using household adsorbents”. Invited talk at the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) UK Conference. London Fire Brigade Training Centre, Southwark, London 23rd January 2012.

White, G., Hall, S., Gautam, L., (2012) Improvements to sampling and instrumentation for fire debris analysis using Tenax TA® and ATD-GC-MS.  European Association of Forensic Science (EAFS) 2012 Conference.

Mwenesongole, E., Gautam, L., Hall, S., and Emmett, T. Detection of Drugs of Abuse in Waste Water. Analytical Research Forum, University of Manchester, UK, July 2011.

Kuleya, C., Gautam, L., Hall, S., Emmett, T., Vaughan, B. The Synthesis, Analysis and Characterisation of Piperazine Based Drugs. Analytical Research Forum, University of Manchester, UK, July 2011

*Richards, N.L., Hall, S., Scott, K.S. & Harrison, N.M. 2011. “First instance of detection of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flunixin in sheep’s wool” Environmental Pollution. 159,pp. 1446-1450.

*Richards, N.L., Cooke, G. Hall, S., Scott, K., Simpson, V. & Harrison, N.M.,  2011.  Short communication: Qualitative detection of the NSAIDs diclofenac and ibuprofen in the hair of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) occupying UK waterways with GC-MS. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 22/02/2011 pp. 1-8.

*Publications for 2014 REF (World Leading research identified in Geography & Environmental Studies, being the second highest in the UK for a ‘newer’ University).

Recent presentations and conferences

White, G. and Hall, S., 2010. The effectiveness of adsorbents to sample ignitable liquid residues using GC-MS. 2010 Forensic Analysis Conference (RSC), Huddersfield University, UK, 8-10 September 2010. 3rd prize for best conference poster.

White, G. and Hall, S., 2010. The use of adsorbents for detecting ignited petrol residue on concrete using a passive headspace technique and GC-MS. 6th National FORREST Conference 2010 (FORensic RESearch and Teaching), Coventry University, UK, 29-30 June 2010. 2nd prize for best conference poster.

Dawkins, J., Hall, S. and Spence, S., 2010. The impact of using Compressed Air Foam on the examination of forensic evidence and fire debris analysis. 6th National FORREST Conference 2010 (FORensic RESearch and Teaching), Coventry University, UK, 29-30 June 2010. 3rd prize for best conference poster.

Cole, M. D. and Hall, S., 2008. From wizardry to alchemy: the science behind crime investigation. RSC Analytical Division East Anglia Region AGM and Mid-Anglia Section AGM, Cambridge, UK, February 2008.

Hall, S., 2007. Forensic Science and Chemistry attend fire test burns. Bulletin (Anglia Ruskin University publication), 4(7) pp.10-11.

Hall, S. and Scott, K.S., 2007. What's your poison. Annual convention of Funeral Directors, Ipswich, UK, April 2007.

Hall, S., Davies, M., Hudson, J. and Waterhouse, J., 2002. The generation of chlorine dioxide in aqueous solutions; the sodium chlorite and acid anhydride reaction. The Environmental Sciences Research Centres Conference, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK, January 2002.

Hall, S., Davies, M., Hudson, J. and Waterhouse, J., 2001. The formation of chlorine dioxide in aqueous solutions. The European Conference of Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms Group (RSC), Galway, Ireland, January 2001.

Hall, S., Davies, M., Hudson, J. and Waterhouse, J., 2001. A novel composition for the generation of chlorine dioxide. The Environmental Sciences Research Centres Conference, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK, January 2001.

Hall, S., Davies, M., Hudson, J. and Waterhouse, J., 2000. The role of chlorine dioxide as a chemical sterilant. The Environmental Sciences Research Centres Conference, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK, January 2000.

Hall, S., Davies, M., Hudson, J. and Waterhouse, J., 2000. The generation of chlorine dioxide in aqueous solutions. The European Conference of Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms Group (RSC), Zagreb, Croatia, January 2000.

Media experience

Naked Scientist: Hair analysis and determination of metals. Radio programme, BBC Cambridgeshire, 17 June 2007.