AN award-winning forensic scientist has traded a career in a Californian lab to pursue his research in the North-East.

Kent Matt Adamson has just completed the first year of his PhD at Teesside University, where he is working with anthropologist Professor Tim Thompson to examine early structural changes to bones in mass graves.

He was recently awarded the prestigious Forensic Sciences Foundation Henry C Lee International Scholarship for his work reviewing a specialist way of analysing blood splatter.

Mr Adamson worked as a contract criminologist in New York and a forensic scientist in Ventura County, California, before opting to further his academic study at Teesside, which is forging an international reputation for forensic science after becoming the first university in the country to offer forensic and crime scene courses.

He said: "I really enjoyed working in the field but I wanted to further my research.

"My main interest is in human rights and mass grave investigation – looking at the changes in bone structure during the early stages of decomposition.

"I heard about a project that Professor Thompson had planned and it was exactly what I wanted to be doing. I am really happy here and it was definitely the right decision.

“It is more than just case work and you get the opportunity to make a real contribution to the wider profession. I am also able to expand and explore various different areas of forensic science – the research connections here are amazing.”

As well as working on his PhD, Mr Adamson also lectures part-time at the University. His award from the Forensic Sciences Foundation was in recognition of his research around blood stain analysis using an intricate method known as digital stringing.

He is aiming to reduce some of the inaccuracies often associated with stringing by bringing together new digital techniques – which won him the award.