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Rachael Parker

<p>Rachael Parker</p>

Rachael Parker


B.Sc. Geography, Queen's University Belfast (2008)

Postgraduate Research Student (Ph.D.)



Room 02 032, Elmwood Building
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 3312

Current Teaching:

GGY1001 Environmental issues: a geographical perspective on a changing world
GGY1007 Dynamic Earth 

Current Research: Environmental Change

Current Research Title

‘Application of Ground Penetrating Radar to Shallow Fresh Water for Forensic Search and Engineering Research’

Research Aim

Outline of best practice procedures for use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in the fields of forensic search and engineering, focusing on the application of GPR to freshwater bodies of varying aqueous environmental chemistry.

Research Description

Research of the above title is predominantly focused on Ground Penetrating Radar as a methodology which is yet to achieve its potential in the fields of forensic geophysics and aquatic engineering of shallow freshwater bodies. The research will endeavour to provide evidence of the most suitable antenna frequency, antenna shielded or unshielded solutions, antenna arrangements and survey methods for use in lakes, reservoirs, streams, estuaries etc. Research will survey under conditions of different sediment types, salinity concentrations as well as some biological, chemical and polluted settings. The forensic aspect of the work will survey during differing stages of aquatic burials, identifying the full potential of this technqiue to forensic case files of all ages, recent through to historic. An 'optimum' survey period for forensic search and engineering surveying will also be identified with regards to seasonality.

 This research will therefore attempt to further two fields of science by means of introducing an already trusted geophysical technique to logistically difficult aquatic mediums and maximise data collection, quality and reliability. The ideal outcome is a meaningful and well supported guide for both forensic search personnel and engineers who will then informatively be able to select the correct GPR variables before beginning research. 


Parker, R. 2010. Fresh Water Ground Penetrating Radar and the Significance of Seasonal Temperature Variation. 13th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, 21-24th June, Lecce, Italy. 2010.

Parker, R. and Ruffell, A. 2010. Freshwater Ground-Penetrating Radar. 53rd Irish Geological Research Meeting, Ulster Museum Belfast. 19th-21st February, Conference Abstract.

Parker, R., Ruffell, A., Hughes, D., and Pringle, J., 2009. Geophysics and the search of freshwater bodies: A review, Journal of Science and Justice.

Parker, R., McKinley, J.M. & Ruffell, A. 2009. Application of ground-penetrating radar to shallow freshwater bodies for forensic search.  15th European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, Conference Abstract.