Contact Dr Sophie Beckett

Background

Dr Beckett is a Lecturer in Forensic and Archaeological Biominerals within Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI).

Sophie graduated with a degree in chemistry from Durham University and is a Chartered Chemist. She gained an MSc in Forensic Archaeological Science from University College London before joining Cranfield University in 2005, to undertake her PhD studies (Interspecies Variation in Bone Mineral).

Dr Beckett has taught on CFI's MSc Forensic Programme since 2006 and, as Lecturer, has been a module leader for several different modules (Further Forensic Anthropology: Identification, Mass Fatality Incidents, Courtroom Skills).

Between 2008 and 2013, Sophie managed Cranfield Forensic Institute's X-ray diffraction (XRD) laboratories and XRD commercial services. Between 2011 and 2014, Sophie set-up and managed CFI's Forensic Analytical Laboratories at the Shrivenham campus. This included establishing CFI's commercial services for computed tomography (CT).

Sophie is a team member for Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc. with whom she has worked in Thailand, in February and June 2005, and in the UK, in January 2008 and May 2010.

Dr Beckett currently works part-time for Cranfield Forensic Institute and since 2019 has provided freelance osteology and analytical consultancy service for heritage community groups and charities. This has included delivering osteology services for a grant awarded to the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP)* by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, delivering a National Archives Testbed fund project** also with SHARP and, gaining a grant to run osteology training for volunteers with the archaeology society; Gloucestershire Archaeology (GlosArch).

*Volunteering with a Disarticulated Community: Towards Re-association of Anglo-Saxon Bones

**SHARP Digital Photographic Archive Project

Current activities

Within Cranfield Forensic Institute, Dr Beckett is part of the Musculoskeletal and Medicolegal Research Group. She is also an Honorary Fellow of Melbourne Dental School (the University of Melbourne).

Sophie's research interests include:

  • Application of computed tomography (CT) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis
  • Forensic and archaeological biominerals
  • Bone mineral composition, structure, chemistry, and its variation
  • Dental calculus
  • Urinary stones
  • Fragmentary and commingled human remains
  • Osteometrics

  • Dr Beckett welcomes enquiries regarding research collaborations as well as PhD and MRes studies.

    Publications

    Articles In Journals

    Conference Papers

    • Vachirawongsakorn V, Marquez-Grant N, Painter J, Beckett S & Greenwood C (2018) Taphonomic processes of chop marks in terrestrial and buried environments: A micro-CT and stereo-microscopic study [poster]. In: Taphos-Nomos 2018, School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 2-4 November 2018.

    Books

    • Beckett S (2012) 7. Other scientific methods related to victim identification. In: Forensic ecology handbook: from crime scene to court. Marquez-Grant N, Roberts J, (ed.), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, ed. 1.