Dr. Paola A. Prada-Tiedemann's Research Group






Shawna Gallegos is a Ph.D. student at Texas Tech University in the Department of Environmental Toxicology. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from Texas Tech University.  Shawna works in the Prada-Tiedemann forensic analytical chemistry and odor profiling laboratory using SPME and GC-MS to bridge the gap between analytical chemistry and canine odor detection.  Her studies provide a valuable tool in understanding a broad range of odor profiles including explosives, post-traumatic stress human scent markers, and pathogens. Shawna is the current president for the West Texas-Association for Women in STEAM (WT-AWIS) and a former CISER scholar. She enjoys cooking, reading and volunteering for the South Plains SPCA.







is a master's graduate student at the Institute for Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. He received his bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University in Plant and Soil Science. His research interest is with Forensic Entomology and is currently studying how agricultural row-crop habitats impact determining a post-mortem interval (PMI). He is a former Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholar and current United Supermarkets Fellowship Recipient. Samuel enjoys spending time with his wife and powerlifting.











I am currently a graduate student at the Texas Tech Institute for Forensic Science. I received my bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and a minor in Forensic Science from Texas Tech University. My research area is in decomposition. In my undergraduate career, I conducted research with Dr. Prada-Tiedemann to study the effect of body wrappings on the decomposition timeline. I have continued in this research area through the ongoing conduction of my master's thesis. I am analyzing the VOC's present in the tissues of decomposing pig remains along the decomposition timeline under varying storage conditions. The goal of this study is to provide a better understanding of how cadaver dog training aids are affected by their repeated use and storage.







I am a current graduate student at Texas Tech University in the Forensic Science Master's program. I graduated from Baylor University and received my bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a minor in Forensic Science. My hobbies include gardening, taking care of my house plants, and staying in to watch a good movie. I am excited to be a part of Dr. Tiedemann's research group!









I am from the Austin, TX area but I have lived here since 2007 when I attended undergrad.  I have a B.A from Texas Tech University in Psychology with a minor in Forensic Science.  I work full time in the Texas Tech Scholarships and Financial Aid Department, and I live with my wife, Amy, and our two fury children, Blizzard and Rue.  I am currently earning my M.S. in Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Investigations.  I hope to complete an internship at South Plains Pathology this summer and use that experience to help drive my research into biological sex and the implications it has on homicide methodology selection.








I am originally from Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Northern California. I attended California Baptist University for my undergraduate degree, where I earned a B.S. in Biology with a Pre-Med concentration. I am now earning my master’s degree from the Institute for Forensic Science. My research objectives include determining how environmental factors impact the odors of narcotics. Specifically, the factors include how temperature and humidity affect the amount of odor produced and how canines detect the odor. My personal interests include building and driving off-road vehicles, golfing, fishing, and spending time and traveling with my wife.








I was born and raised in Lubbock Texas, I completed my undergrad in 2019 with a B.A. in Sociology with a Criminology concentration and a Minor in Forensic Sciences. I will be heading to Worcester, Massachusetts during the summer of 2021 to complete an internship with the Bureau of Investigative Services at Worcester Police Department. I have a five year old daughter, who wants nothing more than to be a Red Raider and attend Texas Tech. I enjoy country music, baseball, and being with family. I am expected to graduate in December 2021.










is a graduate student at Texas Tech University in the Forensic Science program. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a double minor in Forensic Science and Mathematics. Kirsten works in the Prada-Tiedemann laboratory using SPME and GC-MS to identify volatile organic compounds emitted from firearms. The study provides a novel approach to identifying common VOCs using the firearm as the actual sample source, which can be utilized in canine firearm detection for training capabilities. Kirsten is the current president of the Forensic Science Society (FSS) and Vice President of the West Texas Association for Women in STEAM (WT-AWIS). She enjoys playing sports and is a big fan of Texas Tech athletics. Wreck’Em!





As a graduate student at Texas Tech University, I am working towards a Master's degree in Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Investigation. I intend to graduate this year May of 2021. I hold a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Psychology from the University of the Southwest. My personal interests are to become a Crime Scene Investigator.


My research is focused on Drug Related Violation Trends. This type of research provides data on drug trends of the number of arrests with respect to drug law violations (e.g., possession and sale/manufacture), type of drug (e.g., heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana), and amount of drug. The importance of this research is to provide updated trends on drug related violation arrests in hopes that it can aid in providing law enforcement and forensic practitioners with updated data to improve how they allocate their resources.





I am a undergrad physical anthropology major with a forensic science concentration, psychology minor, graduating with a master's in forensic science on the investigation track. My future plans are to become a Crime Scene Investigator in DFW














Major: Ecology and Environmental Biology

Minor: Chemistry

Personal interests: I love to dive into a good book! I am a part of the Honors College and TTU Student Government  Association.

Research Objective: I am determining the volatile organic compounds released by tissues to determine PMIs and help train cadaver dogs. More specifically, my project looks at the volatile organic compounds in decomposing meat-simulation models for both dry and submerged remains. The experiences that I’ve had working in Dr. Prada’s lab will allow me to be a competitive applicant in graduate school and has taught me skills that will help me to succeed in any situation.




I'm from Waco, Texas, and I am a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I plan to follow a Nurse Practitioner track and specialize in forensics, but I have a lot of different pathways open to me. My current research focus is on the presence of bacterial VOCs in Clostridium Difficile, and how they can be detected in environmental reservoirs, such as hospitals. I love to birdwatch, play electric and acoustic guitar, spend quality time with my friends, and explore Lubbock. I enjoy volunteering at animal shelters, am involved in various pre-health organizations, and can't wait to see what my future holds!









The use of Entomological samples as potential odor biomarkers for decomposition, M.S. - 2019.



The instrumental evaluation of blood decomposition volatiles on various substrates and their relationship to presumptive

test methods, M.S. - 2019.



Evaluation of decomposition residual odor using susscrofa as sampling model, M.S. - 2019.



A Novel Method for the Creation of Explosive Detection Training Aids for Canines using an Olfactometer, M.S. - 2018.


Amanda Patrick

Condom Odor Profiling with HS-SPME and Temperature effect on Condom Fingerprint Development, M.S. - 2018.



The Evaluation of Canine Training Aids Over Time on Working Dog Performance, M.S. - 2018



Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group, M.S. - 2018



Human Skeletal Evidence: Perspectives for Narcotrafficking Group Identifications Through Modus Operandi From Costa Rica, M.S. - 2018



Arsenic fed piglets: Assessing arsenic levels in decomposing pig tissues and soil samples, M.S. - 2017



Fingerprint Visualization on Condoms, M.S. – 2016


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Updated 09/01/21

The Department of Environmental Toxicology (ENTX) is the academic home for the core faculty of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) and the Institute for Forensic Science (IFS) at Texas Tech University. TIEHH and IFS provide faculty and graduate students opportunities for multidisciplinary research and scholarly engagement related to environmental, forensic and human health sciences.