Dr. Lauryn DeGreeff - K9s Detection of Explosives and HMEs - recording of the webinar

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Mrs Dr. Lauryn DeGreeff

Lauryn E. DeGreeff earned her PhD in forensic chemistry from Florida International University in Miami, FL, where she is presently an associate professor in the Chemistry Department and the International Forensic Science Research Institute and where she carries out research in the area of volatiles analysis as it relates to vapor detection by canine and instruments. Prior to returning to FIU, Dr. DeGreeff conducted her research as part of the Chemistry Division at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. She takes a chemistry-based approach to studying olfaction for the purpose of informing field vapor sampling practices. Her research focuses on trace vapor sampling, characterization, and generation in support of canine and other field detection approaches. Dr. DeGreeff regularly lectures on the dynamics of odor for the operational community and at national and international scientific conferences. She has also authored a many peer-reviewed manuscripts, holds four pending and completed patents, and is the editor of the book entitled Canines: The Original Biosensor, to be released in early 2022.


A chemist’s perspective on the canine detection of explosives with considerations related to homemade explosives (HMEs)
Explosive detection canines are deployed to battle threats at home and abroad. They are utilized in the detection of explosive devices that threaten civilian and military personnel lives, as well as aviation and transportation security, such as landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The type of explosive materials most commonly encountered in the past included nitro-containing high explosives such as TNT and C4, or low explosives, such as smokeless and black powders. There is a significant body of research that has been carried out relating to the detection of these targets, which will be reviewed in this webinar.
As availability and ease of access to such explosives diminished, terrorists abroad began relying on homemade explosives (HMEs), assembled from easily attainable and commercially available materials. Use of HMEs is expected to continue to increase as such extremist groups continue evolving new methods improving predictability, long-term stability, and streamlined manufacturing of HMEs involving cheap, more easily accessible materials and less sophisticated equipment. Explosives detection capabilities have been slow to evolve with the changing threat. Considerations, including odor profiles, stability and degradation, and training aids related to canine detection of HMEs will be discussed. Finally, training aid selection and handling will also be covered.