UNC College of Arts & Sciences

Geological Sciences

Heather Hanna


Collecting forensic evidence for analysis in a first degree murder case

Email: hdhanna at live.unc.edu
Office: Mitchell Hall 210A

B.A., Geology and Environmental Studies, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1999
M.S., Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, 2004
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, current
NC Professional Geologist License, North Carolina Board for Licensing of Geologists, License 2478

My research interests involve the application of geochemical ideas and methods to forensic analysis of earth materials. Geochemical, especially isotopic, variations in quartz are of particular interest given the abundance of quartz and the need for more research before forensic methods can be established. As a Ph.D. student in Xiaoming Liu's lab I hope to eventually develop new quantitative forensic geology methods using nontraditional stable isotopes.

Prior to beginning my Ph.D. at UNC, I worked for 12 years as a geologist at the North Carolina Geological Survey. During my time at the NCGS, I was fortunate to work on a variety of projects including forensic geology, Piedmont mapping, and lithic source material identification. As part of my forensic work, I have been involved in multiple cases and testified four times as an expert witness in court. 

When not focused on geology I enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and avoiding questions regarding my basketball team allegiance.

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104 South Road, Mitchell Hall
Campus Box #3315
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3315
Telephone: (919) 966-4516
Fax: (919) 966-4519