Just Fingerprints And Lasers

Just Fingerprints And Lasers

In episode four of the Case Studies Season, Just Science sat down with forensic consultant, author, and instructor Brian Dalrymple to discuss his research and impact on the field of latent print identification.

In 1977, a team of researchers developed a method for detecting fingerprints by examining inherent fluorescence using an argon ion laser. This new technology revolutionized the field of latent print identification. Brian Dalrymple was an original member of that research team, but his career did not stop there. He has completed approximately 100 examinations of murder victims for fingerprint evidence, authored several journal articles and books, and contributed to the widespread adoption of lasers used for detection. Listen along as he discusses the origins of his research and methods for examining bodies for fingerprints in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Original Release Date: November 27, 2020

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Guest Bio

Brian Dalrymple was part of the original research team that introduced lasers in 1977.  He retired in 1999 from the Ontario Provincial Police as Manager, Forensic Identification Services.  He initiated the first computer evidence enhancement system in Canada in 1991.  He initiated and co-wrote the SOP for body examination for the province of Ontario and during his career, completed approximately 100 examinations of murder victims for fingerprint evidence.  He is currently a forensic consultant (Brian Dalrymple & Associates), an instructor for Ron Smith and Associates, and an adjunct professor at Laurentian University.  He is the recipient of the Dondero Award (International Association for Identification), the Foster Award (Canadian Identification Society) and the Lewis Minshall Award (The Fingerprint Society).


  • Crime and Measurement: Methods in Forensic Investigation, Carolina Academic Press, M. Nafte, B. Dalrymple,

  • First edition 2011

  • Second edition 2015

  • The Skin of Murder Victims: Fingerprints and Other Evidence, Carolina Academic Press, B. Dalrymple, 2014
  • Forensic Digital Image Processing: Optimization of Impression Evidence, CRC Press, B. Dalrymple, J. Smith, 2018

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