Heidi Eldridge is an IAI-certified Latent Print Examiner with more than 10 years of experience in criminal forensic science laboratories at the state, regional, and local levels.
She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, studying under Professor Christophe Champod. Her dissertation research involves using a white box approach to understand which factors are most diagnostic for latent print examiners when making suitability determinations for latent prints. She will use this information in combination with objective quality and rarity data and agency-specific utility functions to create a semi-automated software tool capable of scoring latent marks along four distinct scales of usefulness and making recommendations to guide Quality Assurance practices, training, testimony, proficiency testing, and research.
Outside of her dissertation work, her research interests are focused on standardization of minutiae selection and mark-up, the role of human factors in forensic science, presentation of courtroom testimony, juror comprehension of scientific testimony, and the evolution of fingerprint conclusions. She is working on several projects for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE, for the National Institute of Justice, NIJ) that explore these themes.
She is active in the latent print community and serves on numerous committees, including the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC)’s Friction Ridge Subcommittee, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)’s Academy Standards Board Friction Ridge Consensus Body, and the International Association for Identification (IAI)’s Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Identification. She is a frequent presenter at local, national, and international educational conferences and educates legal professionals on latent print issues at conferences and in-services.