Speak to a Scientist

McCrone Group's analytical scientists are available to answer your questions. Have a project you'd like to discuss? Give us a call or email us!

Sandra L. Koch, Ph.D.

Senior Research Microscopist |McCrone Associates
Instructor |Hooke College of Applied Sciences

Sandra has worked in the field of forensic trace evidence analysis for more than 20 years. She worked for the FBI Laboratory Trace Evidence Unit from 1997 to 2013 where she analyzed hairs, fibers, fabric damage, and feathers using a range of instrumentation including light microscopy, polarized light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, microspectrophotometry, and infrared spectroscopy. She has taught numerous workshops and short courses on crime scene evidence collection and trace evidence analysis. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a founding member of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners and Certified by the American Board of Criminalistics in the area of hairs and fibers. Sandra has served as a member and affiliate of the Materials (trace) subcommittee on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), specifically with the hair and fiber task groups. Prior to the found of OSAC, she was a member of the Scientific Working Group for Materials Analysis (SWGMAT) from 1999 to 2013, and served as the chair of the fiber subgroup from 2009 to 2013. Sandra has published on the topic of hairs, fibers, fabric damage, and feather identification in a variety of scientific journals.

Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, the Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Forensic Anthropology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, 2012
M.F.S., Forensic Science, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 1996
B.A., Anthropology and Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1993

Koch S.L., Liebowitz, C., Shriver, M.D., Jablonski, N.G. Microscopical discrimination of human head hairs sharing a mitochondrial haplogroup. J Forensic Sci. 2020;00:1–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14560

Tatiana Trejos, Sandra Koch, Andria Mehltretter. Scientific foundations and current state of trace evidence—a review. Forensic Chemistry (2020): 100223.

Sandra L. Koch, Silvana R. Tridico, Bruno A. Bernard, Mark D. Shriver, Nina G. Jablonski. The biology of human hair: A multidisciplinary review. American Journal of Human Biology. (2019): e23316.

Sandra L. Koch, Mark D. Shriver, Nina G. Jablonski. (2018). Variation in human hair ultrastructure among three biogeographic populationsJournal of Structural Biology. ISSN 1047-8477.

Nehse, K. and S.L. Koch. (2018). New Fibre Developments. In Forensic Examination of Fibres, J. Robertson, C. Roux, and K.G. Wiggins (Eds). 3rd ed. CRC Press.

Tridico, S.R., Koch, S.L., Michaud, A., Thomson, G., Kirkbride, K.P., and Bunce, M. (2014). Interpreting biological degradative processes acting on mammalian hair in the living and the dead: Which ones are taphonomic? Proceedings of The Royal Society, B:Biological sciences, 281(1796), 10.1098/rspb.2014.1755.

Koch, S.L., Michaud, A. and Mikell, C. (2013). Taphonomy of Hairs: A study of postmortem root banding of hairs. Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 58, No. S1.

Dove, C. and Koch, S.L. (2011) Microscopy of Feathers: A Practical Guide for Forensic Feather Identification. Journal of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners, Vol. 1, Issue 1. Reprinted in the Microscope V 59 (2) 2011.

Deedrick, D.W. and Koch, S.L. (2004). Microscopy of Hair Part II: A Practical Guide and Manual for Animal HairsForensic Science Communications, Vol. 6, Number 3.

Deedrick, D.W. and Koch, S.L. (2004). Microscopy of Hair Part I: A Practical Guide and Manual for Human Hairs.  Forensic Science Communications, Vol. 6, Number 1.