Virginia M. Maxwell, D.Phil.

Virginia Maxwell Headshot
Professor
Assistant Chair

Forensic Science Department
Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
Education

D.Phil., Oxford University
B.Sc., (Hons), Liverpool University

About Virginia

Dr. Virginia Maxwell joined the University of New Haven in 2007 after a 15-year career at the State of Connecticut Forensic Laboratory in the Trace Evidence Section. Prior to joining the Forensic Laboratory she worked at Yale University and the Royal Military College of Canada. During her time at the laboratory, she worked on many high profile cases in the state and was admitted as an expert in both State and Federal court. From 2011 to 2014, she was the Associate Dean of the Henry C. Lee College, returning to the faculty in 2014 to pursue her interests in animal cruelty investigation.

At the University she has taught many classes in the Forensic Science program and has developed three honors classes for students in the Honors Program. She is the coordinator of the FEPAC-accredited M.S. in Forensic Science and director for the newly approved Animal Cruelty Investigation graduate certificate. Her laboratory research interests are in the degradation of physical evidence, including trace evidence, tool marks, and DNA. Beyond the laboratory, she is using crime data to predict hot spots for crimes against animals, such as dog fighting, the impact of COVID on the meatpacking industry and how this impacted animals in the industrialized agricultural system, and cruelty in horse racing.

Publications

Animal Cruelty Crime Scene Investigation
Evidence Technology Magazine
April 2020

Physical Methods Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition
Kammrath B, De Alcaraz Fossoul J, O’Brien RC, Harris H, Maxwell V.
Academx, 2019

Criminalistics Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition
Maxwell V, Powers R and Kammrath B
Academx 2018

Physical Methods Laboratory Manual
Kammrath B, O’Brien RC, Harris H, Maxwell V
Academx, 2018

Criminalistics Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition
Kammrath B, Powers R and Maxwell V
Academx 2017

The Evidentiary Significance of Automotive Paints from the Northeast: A Study of Red Paint.
Kaitlin J. Kruglak, Mara Dubnicka, Brooke Kammrath, Virginia Maxwell, John A. Reffner
Journal of Forensic Science, in publication

Forensic Examination of Trace Evidence
Forensic Science – Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Engineering for Justice
Evgeny Katz Ed.
Wiley, June 2015

The Effect of Relative Humidity and Direct Contact with Water on the Dimensions of Toolmarks in Wood
Virginia M. Maxwell and Earl Williams
AFTE Journal, January 2013

Microchemistry
Virginia M. Maxwell
Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, 2nd Edition, Elsevier 2012

Trace and Transfer Evidence
Henry C. Lee and Virginia M. Maxwell
Forensic Science, Cyril Wecht Ed., Matthew Bender
November 2010

Physical Evidence
Henry C. Lee, Virginia M. Maxwell, et al
Connecticut Fair Plan, 1995

Crime Scene Investigation
Henry C. Lee, Virginia M. Maxwell, et al
Central Police University Press, Tsoayuan, Taiwan, 1994

The specific effects of 8-methoxypsoralen photo-adducts on cell growth: HPLC analysis of mono-adduct and crosslink formation in cells exposed to split-dose treatment.
I.M. Schmitt, V.M. Maxwell, G.A. Olack, R.L. Edelson, S. Chimenti, F.P. Gasparro
J Photochem. Photobiol. B. 1994 Jan; 22(1):17-21

Enhancement of the Immunogenicity of a Mastocytoma Cell Line by Photoactivated 8-Methoxypsoralen
F.P. Gasparro, V.M. Maxwell, M.S. Malane and R.E. Tigelaar
J. Photochem.Photobiol., November 1993

The Treatment of Mastocytoma Cells with 8-Methoxypsoralen and Long wavelength Ultraviolet Radiation Enhances Cellular Immunogenicity
F.P. Gasparro, V.M. Maxwell, M.S. Malane and R.E. Tigelaar
Photochem. Photobiol. 58: 682-688, 1993

Electrochemical Studies of Mild Steel in Sodium Chloride Solutions containing Inorganic Inhibitors
P.R. Roberge, V.S. Sastri and V.M. Maxwell
CANMET Report MTL 90-65 (TR), Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Canada, 1991

Electrochemical Evaluation of Inhibitors in Sour Media
P.R. Roberge, V.S. Sastri and V.M. Maxwell
CANMET Report MTL 90-68 (TR), Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Canada, 1991

Monitoring Corrosion Inhibition with Electrochemical Spectroscopy
P.R. Roberge, E. Halliop, V.M. Maxwell, and V.S. Sastri
Corrosion 48: 333, 1990

The Permeation of Electroactive Solutes through Electrodeposited Poly(divinylbenzene) Coats on Electrode Surfaces
Compton, R.G., Maxwell, V.M., and Waller, A.W.
J.Chem.Soc.Faraday Trans., 1990

Ion –Selective Electrodes
Maxwell, Virginia M.
Diss. Abstr, Int. B, 51 (1990) 1289

The Photochemical Reduction of 2,1,3-Benzothiodiazole-4,7-Dicarbonitrile in the Presence of Cationic Micelles and Onward Electron Transfer Reactions
Robinson, J.N., Cole-Hamilton, D.J., Camilleri, P., Dainty, C., and Maxwell, V.M.
J.Chem.Soc.Faraday Trans.1, 85(1989)3385

Refereed Presentations

Indole and Related Non-Volatile Compound Release from Decomposing Mammalian Liver, 2020
Murphy H, Powers R, Maxwell V
American Academy of Forensic Science Annual Meeting, Anaheim

Identification of Bullet Holes in Fabric using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, 2020
Maxwell, V., Scarpelli, N., Kammrath, B.,
American Academy of Forensic Science Annual Meeting, Anaheim

Identification of Bullet Holes in Fabric using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, 2019
Maxwell, V., Scarpelli, N., Kammrath, B.,
North Eastern Association of Forensic Scientists, Harrisburg, PA.

Recovery of Human DNA from the Coats of Domestic Animals: Application of DNA Transfer to Animal Cruelty Investigations
Maxwell V, Ambers A, Marcotte E
North Eastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting, Harrisburg, PA

The Impact of the Environmental Degradation on the Analysis of Manufactured Fibers, 2019
Weber, A and Maxwell, V
American Chemical Society Regional Meeting

The Impact of the Environmental Degradation on the Analysis of Manufactured Fibers, 2019
Weber, A and Maxwell, V
American Academy of Forensic Science Annual Meeting, Baltimore

Forensic Characterization and Discrimination of Manila Envelopes, 2018
NEAFS Annual Meeting, Bolton Landing, NY,
Sanchez-Melo, M.-I., Maxwell, V., Dahlberg, D., Kammrath, B. W.

Forensic Characterization and Discrimination of Manila Envelopes, 2018
Eastern Analytical Symposium, Plainsboro, NJ,
Sanchez-Melo, M.-I., Maxwell, V, Dahlberg, D. , Kammrath, B. W.

Effect of water submersion on biological and chemical evidence., 2018
Northeast Regional Honors Conference, Conference, Providence, RI.,
Goriounova, A., Marazzo, J., Glynn, C., Maxwell, V.

The Impact of the Environmental Degradation on the Analysis of Manufactured Fibers, 2018
Weber, A and Maxwell, V
Northeastern Associate of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting

The Evidentiary Significance of Automotive Paints from the Northeast: A Study of Red Paint, 2018
American Academy of Forensic Sciences, 70th Annual Scientific Meeting, Conference, Seattle, WA,
Kruglak, K., Reffner, J. A., Maxwell, V., Kammrath, B. W.

The Evidentiary Significance of Automotive Paints from the Northeast: A Study of Red Paint, 2018
The Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium, Washington, DC,
Kruglak, K., Reffner, J. A., Maxwell, V., Kammrath, B. W.

Determination of the Sequence of Intersecting Pen Strokes in Handwritten Documents, 2017
Alicia Wagner and Virginia Maxwell
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting

The Evidentiary Significance of Automotive Paints from the Northeast: A Study of Red Paint, 2017
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, Pocono Manor, PA,
Kruglak, K., Reffner, J. A., Maxwell, V., Kammrath, B. W.

The Identification of Bullet Holes in Automotive Windshields, 2013
Maxwell V and Scott C
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting

Identification of Menstrual Blood Using Raman Spectroscopy, 2013
Kathleen Barra, Virginia Maxwell, Jennifer Maldonado
American Academy of Forensic Science Annual Meeting

Macroscopy and Microscopy in a Forensic Tool Mark Case, 2008
Gerard Petillo and Virginia M. Maxwell
New York Microscopical Society
John Jay College of Criminal Justice NY, NY

Beneficial Mutations of 8-Methoxypsoralen and UVA Radiation on the Immune Response to Tumors, 1993
New York Academy of Sciences Meeting

The Effect of Radioprotector WR77913 on the in vivo Pharmacokinetics of Tetraphenylporphine Tetrasulphonate, 1993
American Society of Photobiology Annual Conference

In vivo Pharmacokinetics of Tetraphenylporphine Sulphonate, 1991
American Society of Photobiology Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX

In vivo Pharmacokinetics of Drugs via Fluorescence Spectroscopy, 1991
Kingston, Ontario

Monitoring a Corrosion Inhibition Program with Corrosion Potential Fluctuations, 1990
The Electrochemical Society Annual Conference
Montreal, Canada

A.C. Impedance Monitoring of Localised Corrosion in Sour Gas Media, 1990
C.I.M. Annual Conference of Metallurgists
Quebec City, Canada

Analysing Electrochemical Impedance Corrosion Measurements by the Systematic Permutation of Data Points, 1990
ASTM Symposium on Computer Modeling for Corrosion

Monitoring Localised Corrosion Problems with Electrochemical Impedance, 1990
National Association of Corrosion Engineers Canadian Region Western Conference

Awards
  • University Leadership and Service Award, 2016 - Service to the University of New Haven
  • Unit Citation, 1998 - Police shooting investigation
  • Unit Citation, 1998 - Fatal hit and run
  • Unit Citation, 2001 - Homicide
  • Unit Citation, 2001 - Fatal hit and run
  • Outstanding Service Award, 2003 - Homicide of 11-year-old victim
  • Unit Citation, 2006 - Police shooting investigation

Outstanding Service Award - Awarded to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex or difficult investigation.
Unit Citation - Awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.

Professional Organizations
  • American Academy of Forensic Science
  • American Dairy Science Association
  • Council of Forensic Science Educators
  • Animals and Society Institute
  • Dairy Cattle Welfare Council
Scholarly Activity

Collaboration for the Investigation of Cruelty to Animals

A formalized collaboration with the University of Connecticut Law School for an entity encouraging and expanding collaboration, intellectual exchange and programming relating to the training of students and professionals on how to investigate animal cruelty crimes and providing such investigative services. Collaboration directors: Virginia Maxwell and Jessica Rubin JD (UConn Law School).

Funded Grants
  • National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (2018) Co-Principal Investigator – Purchase of Laser Induced Spectroscopy Instrumentation
  • Shimadzu Educational Grant (2018) Co-Principal Investigator – Purchase of Liquid Chromatography Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer
  • National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (2015) Senior Personnel – Purchase of X Ray Diffractometer
Courses Developed
  • FORS2216 Introduction to Forensic Science for Majors
  • FORS6697 Thesis 1 with Seminar
  • FORS4404H Criminalistics with Laboratory (honors)
  • FOR450H The Art and Science of Art (honors)
  • FORS4452/6670 Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty
  • HNRS4450 From Baker Street to Las Vegas: The History of Forensic Science (honors)
  • FORS6613 Principles of Forensic Science II
  • FORS6664 Forensic Field Technology Laboratory
Courses Taught
  • FOR215 Introduction to Forensic Science
  • FORS2216 Introduction to Forensic Science for Majors
  • FORS4404 Criminalistics with Laboratory
  • FORS4404H Criminalistics with Laboratory (honors)
  • FORS4450H The Art and Science of Art
  • FORS6640 Advanced Criminalistics
  • FOR6641 Advanced Criminalistics Laboratory
  • FOR6697 Thesis 1 with Seminar
  • FORS6613 Principles of Forensic Science II
  • FORS6664 Forensic Field Technology Laboratory
  • HNRS4450 From Baker Street to Las Vegas: The History of Forensic Science
  • FORS4452/6670 Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty
  • UNIV3000 Honors Book Club
Professional Service
  • UCONN Law School Adjunct Faculty, 2019 - present
  • Dairy Cattle Welfare Council - Member, 2019 - present
  • Animals and Society Institute - Member, 2019 - present
  • Council on Forensic Science Educators - Member, 2019 - present
  • UCONN Animal Law Clinic Scientific Consultant, 2018 - present
  • American Dairy Science Association - Member, 2017 - present
  • NEASC Evaluator, 2010 - present
  • American Academy of Forensic Science - Full Member, 2012 - present
  • Review of deficiencies in proficiency tests for a New England Forensic Laboratory, 2012
  • American Academy of Forensic Science - Associate Member, 2000 - 2012
  • Criminal case consultation, 2007 - present
  • Consultant for Written Media, 2007 - present
  • Participant in TV forensic programs, 2007 - present
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Connecticut Law School, 2007 - present

In the Media