Jodie Ward is the Director of the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER) and an Associate Professor in the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney. In addition, she is the Program Lead of the National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons at the Australian Federal Police. This unique joint appointment facilitates her valuable contribution to the research, development and application of forensic human identification techniques for missing persons investigations in Australia.
Associate Professor Ward is an internationally recognised forensic human identification expert passionate about using an interdisciplinary forensic approach to identify unknown deceased persons, link them to known missing persons and provide answers to their families. She has held previous operational forensic roles with the NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service and NSW Police Force, and academic forensic roles with the Canberra Institute of Technology and University of Canberra.
Her commitment to resolving Australia’s unidentified and missing persons cases and pioneering new forensic identification capabilities in Australia has seen her be awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to investigate world-leading DNA identification techniques for missing persons and disaster victims, invited on to the International Commission on Missing Persons Expert Panel of Scientific Advisors, INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Forensic Genetics Sub-Working Group, The Missed Foundation Board and Forensic Genomics Editorial Board, and recognised as one of the 2017 Superstars of STEM (Science & Technology Australia), 2018 100 Women of Influence (Australian Financial Review), 2021 Emerging Leaders in the Public and University Sector (Women’s Agenda) and 2023 NSW Woman of Excellence (NSW Government).
Associate Professor Ward obtained a PhD in forensic genetics from The Australian National University, and has postgraduate qualifications in management and higher education. She is a professional member of the International Society of Forensic Genetics, Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society.
Churchill Fellow (CF)