At Cansford Laboratories, the role of our Reporting Scientists play an essential part in the process of producing drug and alcohol reports and expert witness statements written to the highest possible standard and sent to our clients as quickly as possible.
Time is of the essence when you need results for a court date. Here Amy Duda, one of Cansford's team of Reporting Scientists, gives an insight into her role, how she joined the lab and life outside work.
Meet Amy Duda - Reporting Scientist and Expert Witness
I joined Cansford in October 2018 as a Laboratory Technician, after completing my Masters in Forensic and Analytical Science at University of South Wales in 2017 (I believe Cansford’s laboratory operations manager, James Nutt, marked our end-of-year Toxicology exam papers!).
I found out about Cansford through a university friend who was already working here, and she let me know that Cansford were hiring in the lab.
I sent my application to Kim Bagley (Managing Director) and got an interview. During this, I was a little bit star-struck because Lolita Tsanaclis (Cansford’s co-founder and who introduced hair testing to the UK) walked in and joined in my interview.
I had seen that she was part of the company in my pre-interview research but never fully expected to actually meet her at this early stage. This was the woman I had been studying a year before in our toxicology lectures, and now she was sitting in the same room chatting with me!
A flexible career
I’ve held three roles in my time at Cansford: Lab Technician, Lab Analyst and now as a Reporting Scientist. Because of this, I can be quite flexible in what I do, but the majority of my time now is taken up with writing expert reports and responding to queries raised by clients. I also am the “super-user” for the two JANUS robots (RALPH and RALPHINE).
The number of reports we do in a day has sky-rocketed from when I started in this role. It’s not unusual to write ten (or even more) reports in one day, so this takes up a fair portion of my day. Occasionally I’ll be out in the lab doing bits and pieces, or if one of the aforementioned robots needs assistance…
A real passion
I’ve learned a lot in my various positions, and I’m still learning more every day. Hair testing is a fascinating area of toxicology, and it's great to be a part of an ever-expanding area of science. I’m hoping to be able to spend more time on research in the future.
Next year I’ll be attending my first conference with the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) in Switzerland and hopefully presenting my own work.
Pictured above (L-R): Cansford Lab's Maristela Andraus - Scientific Director, James Nutt - Laboratory Operations Manager and Lolita Tsanaclis - Chief Scientific Officer attending the Society of Hair Testing event of which Amy will be attending as member in 2024.
Outside of Cansford, I’m an avid crafter; I crochet, knit and cross-stitch. I also enjoy video games and have developed a bit of an obsession with horror podcasts and books. My partner, friends and I also often get together to play table top role playing games (TTRPGs) and other board games.
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