Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Forensic Science, M.S.


Chemistry Department


Douglas Ridolfi, M.S.

First Reader

Douglas Ridolfi, M.S.

Second Reader

Kim Bagley, Ph.D.

Third Reader

Joonyeong Kim, Ph.D.


Forensic Serology is a branch of forensic science that deals with the identification of certain trace evidence. Blood is the most commonly recovered and most important piece of evidence analyzed and used in criminal investigations. As evidence blood holds significance in criminal investigations because it can link a crime to an individual or exclude their involvement. Serology and DNA analysis are often aligned, because the same evidence item is often analyzed by both sections. During a criminal investigation it is important for to identifying the type of biological material or trace evidence found. The possible identification of bodily fluids can aid investigators with the help of DNA analysts with finding who or where the evidence originated, and the possible nature of the crime committed.

The Kastle-Meyer test is known to be an inexpensive and easy method used in the field by crime scene agents to determine if a stain could be blood. This test is known as a presumptive test because it cannot confirm that the sample tested is blood or what species it originated from. The Kastle-Meyer test is prone to give false positive results when in the presence of peroxidases and other oxidizing agents. This project will examine the range of sensitivity for blood testing reagent Kastle Meyer (phenolphthalein) and its specificity. This project showed that bovine blood with a 1:1,000,000 dilution will not react because the heme compound is too weak to react to this assay. The main objective of the project is to determine how robust this reagent is under difficult field conditions.