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Miss Clare Bedford

Research Associate in Fire Toxicity
School of Natural Sciences

Clare has worked at the University of Central Lancashire since 2007 and began work as a Research Associate in Fire Toxicity in 2019. Her background is in the chemical analysis of archaeological materials and preparation of materials for the delivery of Forensic Sciences courses here. Since the start of 2019 Clare has applied this combined experience to the analysis of particulate evidence in fire effluent.

Clare started working at the University of Central Lancashire as a Forensic Science technician since 2007 and as part of this role has gained experienced in the examination of particulate evidence types using a range of microscopic techniques. This includes identification of natural and synthetic fibres using compound and polarised light microscopy, and analysis of glass fragments using stereo and compound microscopy to examine fragment morphology along with phase contrast microscopy to measure glass refractive index.

While continuing to work in this role Clare was awarded an MSc by Research in 2013 and completed a PhD thesis in 2019, both of which focus on the use of non-destructive elemental x-ray fluorescence analysis for onsite examination of pigment materials. This research involved comparing materials using multivariate statistical analysis of large elemental datasets, an approach which she has since applied to the analysis of synthetic vitreous fibres in fire effluent samples.

As well as x-ray fluorescence analysis Clare has experience using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) for the measurement and analysis of synthetic vitreous fibres, char fragments and pigments. In addition, during Clare’s time at the University of Central Lancashire she has gained experience using other analytical techniques such as ion chromatography and ultra-violet spectrophotometry.

While working toward her MSc and PhD Clare has been involved in fieldwork in California and in the UK, analysing archaeological materials and performing geophysical survey work, as well as training students on techniques such as field survey, plan and section drawing and 3D laser scanning.

  • BA Hons in Archaeology, 2004, University of Liverpool
  • PGC in Landscape Archaeology, 2009, University of Leicester
  • MSc (by research) Characterising Chumash Rock Art Pigments using Portable XRF Technology, 2013, University of Central Lancashire
  • In progress (awaiting final result): PhD - An experimental approach to the application of portable analytical instrumentation in the non-destructive identification of rock art pigment composition at Pleito Cave, California, 2021, University of Central Lancashire
  • Fire toxicity
  • Archaeology
  • Forensic science
  • Affiliate member of the Royal Society of Chemistry