Denice Higgins

Dr Denice Higgins

Forensic odontologist

Adelaide Dental School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Denice Higgins
University of Adelaide, Adelaide
Histology, Evolutionary Biology, Criminal Law
BDS GDipForOdont PhD.

Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD)

Forensic odontology unit University of Adelaide

Dr Higgins has been a practicing dentist for around 30 years and has been working at Strathalbyn Dental Care since 2006.She is a registered specialist forensic odontologist and provides professional services to Australian policing and coronial agencies.

She has a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology and PhD in Forensic Biology.

My research interests are in the areas of forensic science, human identification, craniofacial biology and forensic odontology. I have a Bachelor Degree in Dentistry, a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology and a Doctorate in Forensic Biology. I am currently the Director of the Forensic Odontology Unit at the University of Adelaide and undertake forensic odontology casework for SAPOL and the SA Coroner. I also undertake research in the fields of forensic biology and forensic odontology and Coordinate a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology Program and the Honours in Dental Science Program. I have publish a number of peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapter and have presented a international conferences.  

I currently teach Forensic Odontology to Graduate Diploma and undergraduate students and law and ethics as they pertain to Dentistry to undergraduate students. I also supervise multiple postgraduate research students

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor DNA Recovery and Amplification from Surfaces of Metals for Forensic Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Dan Osei Mensah Bonsu
    2017 Principal Supervisor Dental Identification by Pattern Matching - Variation and Reliability of Techniques Master of Philosophy (Dentistry) Master Part Time Dr Catherine Alexandra Sims
    2017 Principal Supervisor Retrieving viable DNA samples from deferentially preserved remains for the purpose of identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Meghan Raechel McKinnon
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Increasing the forensic relevance of oral health records - development and evaluation of online education for the dental professional Master of Philosophy (Dentistry) Master Part Time Ms Lauren Stow
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor New Forensic DNA Profiling Techniques for Human Identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Felicia Bardan
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Significance of anodontia and hypodontia in forensic human identification. The University of Adelaide Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology Other Part Time Ioana Corfield
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Digital superimposition of 3-Dimensional dental scans for forensic purposes The University of Adelaide Graduate Diploma in Forensic odontology Other Part Time Harry Perkins
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Comparison of Dental charting from a post mortem computed tomographical scan (PMCT) with dental charting obtained via traditional, accepted methods: Implications for forensic human identification The University of Adelaide Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Selina Leow
    2010 - 2011 Co-Supervisor Validation of a laser scanner methodology The University of Adelaide Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Astiti Handayani
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Board Member The University of Adelaide Dental School Program Board The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member The University of Adelaide Dental School Reach Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society South Australian Branch Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing Member American Society of Forensic Odontology
    2015 - ongoing Member International Society of Forensic Genetics Australia
    2006 - ongoing Representative Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society Australia
    2006 - ongoing Vice-President Australian Society of Forensic Odontology Australia
    1986 - ongoing Member Australian Dental Association Australia
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2015 - ongoing National Institute of Forensic sciences Scientific research Australia
  • Position: Forensic odontologist
  • Phone: 83136292
  • Email: denice.higgins@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4385
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor S3
  • Room: S3 07
  • Org Unit: Dental School Administration

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