Drum-roll please! We have another fantastic female working in forensics that I’m glad to feature. Meet Beverley Nunez, BSc (Hons), MSc, MFSSoc, a forensic analyst. Read her interview below!
What is your profession?
At the moment I am a Forensic Analyst with my main concentration in Toxicology. I am the first qualified Caymanian Forensic Analyst in my home country Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. I currently carryout urinalysis for illicit drugs for Government Medicals, Royal Cayman Islands Police Services arrestee samples and autopsy samples, just to name a few. I also perform confirmation and quantification analysis by Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry on positive urine samples. I am also a Pathologist’s assistant, where I help during postmortems, take notes and type up reports.
What inspiration did you have to enter your profession?
I started off unsure of what I would like to pursue as a career and I spent my summers working in various organizations. I worked in the Banking Industry as a Data Entry Clerk; I had also worked as a Nurse’s Assistant in the hospital, and as a Photographer’s Assistant. But it was not until I worked as a summer student in the Cayman Islands Forensic Science Laboratory. where I assisted the Forensic Scientist in toxicology analyses, examination of sexual assault evidence and drug seizures, that I truly felt that this was the career for me. Having previously worked in those various organizations helped to cement my choice of becoming a Forensic Analyst because I was able to compare these experiences and it was only while working in the Forensics department did I feel that it was not just a job, but more an activity that I looked forward to doing everyday.
What classes do you have to take in high-school and/or college to prepare for your profession?
During high school I took subjects that were science based, which were chemistry and physics, as well as mathematics. I also did A-Levels which were, again, science based, biology, chemistry and also mathematics. When I attended university I majored in Forensic Science and Investigative Analysis which was a Bachelors degree covering all scientific aspects of Forensic Science. Since my profession is in Toxicology, I recommend taking chemistry, mathematics and biology. These will help give a rounded education in preparation for Forensic Toxicology.
Did you have a mentor?
Dr. Schudel, who was my supervisor at the time of me being a summer student in the Cayman Islands Forensic Science Laboratory. He was a wonderful teacher and did not hesitate to explain and answer any questions about the science behind the analyses. I enjoyed working alongside him.
Is there anything you want to tell the readers of AWIFS (words of encouragement, challenges, hobbies, special interests, etc.)?
Once you know, you just know. It’s good to find a career that makes you excited to get out of bed every morning and go in to work. It makes life more enjoyable. I’m glad I found this profession and I look forward to expanding my skills into more areas of Forensic Science. It is a vast subject area with endless educational opportunities.
Thank you Beverly !
If you are a female forensic scientist and you want to be featured in our blog series, “Women in Forensics”, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on twitter @womeninforensic (#womeninforensics) . We will share your blog post with our followers on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. Share your publicized blog link with your colleagues, family and friends. Our goal is to INSPIRE women and girls who want to pursue a career in forensics. So don’t be shy, show us what you’re working with!