Kelly is a Senior Lecturer and consultant forensic scientist at Northumbria University, UK. Prior to joining Northumbria Kelly spent many years as a Senior Forensic Reporting Officer at LGC Forensics (now Eurofins). During this time, she dealt with cases ranging from routine burglaries to high profile murder cases and has given evidence in court on numerous occasions.
Currently, she is chair of the UK Fibre Forum, which she founded in 2016, and serves on the committee of the ENFSI European Textile and Hair Group (ETHG) working group since 2017. Kelly also works with police forces, training CSI's and scientific support staff to improve their awareness and raise the profile of trace evidence in criminal investigations.
Kelly’s research is primarily casework driven based upon her experiences as a forensic scientist and from current issues in the field. Its focus is on the analysis and discrimination of trace evidence, its transfer and persistence mechanisms, and how such data can be used in the evaluation of evidence. More recently, her research interests have expanded to include the environmental impact of microfibres/plastics.