Director, Department of Forensic and Investigative ScienceResearch Interests
Dr. Bell's research interests include pyrolytic products of drugs of abuse, organic gunshot residue characterization. post-mortem toxicology and microbial degradation, characterization of explosives with linked field instruments and mechanisms of toxicity of designer drugs.
She is the recipient of numerous grants and contracts, with her current work supported by NIST.
Dr. Bell earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University, a M.S. in Forensic Science for the University of New Haven and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from New Mexico State University.
She worked for three years with the New Mexico State Police Crime Laboratory as a forensic chemist, drug analyst, arson analyst and crime scene investigator. She then worked for nine years at Los Alamos National Laboratory before working as a professor at Eastern Washington University before joining the faculty of the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University in 2003. She teaches crime scene and blood spatter courses in addition to forensic chemistry and other chemistry courses.
She serves on the National Commission on Forensic Science Chair, Research and Scientific Inquiry Subcommittee, is a National Commission on Forensic Science Commissioner, is on the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and is a member of scientific working groups and scientific area committees in seized drugs and gunshot residue.