Name Dr Wera Schmerer
Job Title Senior Lecturer 
Faculty Faculty of Science and Engineering
School School of Sciences
Subject(s) Forensic and Molecular Science
Tel 01902 323570
Email W.Schmerer@wlv.ac.uk

Wera Schmerer

Forensic DNA analysis

Ancient DNA research

Physical anthropology, molecular anthropology

Development and optimization of methodology for the analysis of highly degraded and trace DNA

DNA degradation and its effect on genetic analysis

postmortem decomposition and bone diagenesis

Hard tissue histology

Biometry

1990-1996 Studies in Biology at Georg August University Göttingen, Germany with specialization in Physical Anthropology, Human Genetics and Cultural Anthropology

1995-1996 Diploma (Dipl Biol, MPhil equivalent) thesis in ancient DNA research “Reproducibility of microsatellite DNA amplification and allele determination from excavated skeletal material”, Institute for Anthropology, University of Göttingen

1996-1997 Research associate Institute for Anthropology, University of Göttingen

1997 Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Anthropology, University of Florence, Italy (European staff exchange program)

1997-2000 Doctorate (Dr rer nat) at Institute for Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen with grand scholarship by the country of Lower Saxony. Ancient DNA research thesis: “Optimization of the STR-genotype analysis of ancient DNA extracts from excavated human skeletal material”

2000-2001 Visiting Research Scientist (knowledge transfer) in the Paleo-DNA Laboratory of the Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

2001-2002 Post Doctoral Fellow in the research section of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rockville, Maryland, USA with Dr Tomas J Parsons

2003-2004 Post Doctoral Fellow, Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, California, USA with Dr George F Sensabaugh

2004-2005 Trace Genetics Inc., Richmond, California: Lab design and establishment of methodology for chromosomal DNA analysis from human skeletal remains

2006-2007 Lecturer for Forensic Science at the University of Wolverhampton, England, UK

since 2007 Senior lecturer Forensic and Molecular Science at the University of Wolverhampton, England, UK

Research scholarship grant by the country of Lower Saxony (Graduiertenförderung Niedersachsen)

Grant for the participation at the NATO Advanced Study Institute "Genes, fossils and behavior: an integrated approach to human evolution", 07 - 17 September 1998, Cambridge, UK

Grant for the participation at the European Science Foundation Research Conference "Inherited disorders and their genes in different European populations", 06 - 10 May 1999, Obernai, France

Journal Publications:

Hummel S, Burger J, Lassen C, Rameckers J, Schmerer W, Herrmann B (1996) Improvement of short tandem repeat amplifications of highly degraded DNA from human teeth and bone samples by the use of AmpliTaq GoldÔ. Amplifications 14(1): 5-6

Schmerer WM, Hummel S, Herrmann B (1997) Reproduzierbarkeit von aDNA-Typing. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 55(2): 199-206

Schmerer WM, Hummel S, Herrmann B (1999) Optimized DNA extraction to improve reproducibility of STR genotyping with highly degraded DNA as target. Electrophoresis 20(8): 1712-1716

Schmerer WM, Hummel S, Herrmann B (2000) STR-genotyping of archaeological human bone: Experimental design to improve reproducibility by optimisation of DNA extraction. Anthrop. Anz. 58(1): 29-35

Schmerer WM (2001) Optimized DNA extraction from ancient human bones improves reproducibility of STR-genotyping of highly degraded ancient DNA. Technical Tips Online 6(1): 41-45

Schmerer WM (2003) Extraction of ancient DNA. Methods in Molecular Biology 226: 57-61

Schmerer WM (2003) Reduction of shadow band synthesis during PCR amplification of repetitive sequences from modern and ancient DNA. Methods in Molecular Biology 226: 309-313

Rogers CJ, ten Broek C, Hodson BJ, Whitehead MP, Sutton R, Schmerer WM (2011) Postmortem degradation of articular cartilage. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 18: 52-56

Rogers CJ, ten Broek C, Hodson BJ, Whitehead MP, Schmerer WM, Sutton R (submitted) Identification of Crystals Forming on Porcine Articular Cartilage: A New Method for the Determination of the Postmortem Interval. J Forensic Sci

 

Conference Contributions:

Schmerer WM (1997) Reproducibility of microsatellite-genotyping of ancient human skeletons. „Ancient DNA IV“. 05. -07. June 1997, Göttingen, Germany – poster

Schmerer WM, Hummel S, Herrmann B (1999) Reproducibility and Optimisation of STR-Genotyping of Highly Degraded DNA. "5th International DNA Fingerprinting Confrence". (ISFG), 17.-22. January 1999, Port Elisabeth, Southafrica- poster

Schmerer WM, Hummel S, Herrmann B (1999) STR-genotyping of highly degraded DNA: Reproducibility and optimisation. European Science Conference "Inherited disorders and their genes in different European populations". 6-10 May 1999, Obernai, France - poster

Schmerer WM (2000) PCR Optimizing Strategies: Reduction of the Accumulation of Stutter Bands in STR Amplifications of Modern and Highly Degraded DNA. “11th International Symposium on Human Identification”, Biloxi, Missisippy. October 10-13, 2000 - poster

Schmerer WM (2000) STR-genotyping of highly degraded DNA: Reproducibility and methodical Optimization. “11th International Symposium on Human Identification”. Biloxi, Missisippy. October 10-13, 2000 - poster

Schmerer WM (2001) Degradation of DNA in bone material recovered from soil in relation to soil environment and incubation time. “70th  annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists”. Kansas City, Missoury, March 28-31, 2001 – poster

Schmerer W, Butler J, Parsons T (2002) Evaluation of short amplicon STR primer systems (“mini-STRs”): Target size reduction and its impact on STR genotyping of degraded DNA. 2002 MAAFS Annual Meeting 23-26 April 2002, Francis Scott Key Holiday Inn, Frederick, Maryland

Sensabaugh GF, Schmerer WM (2004) Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection in highly degraded DNA. National Institute of Justice, 5th Annual DNA Grantees’ Workshop, June 28-30, 2004, Washington DC - presentation

Schmerer WM (2009) DNA degradation in bone material recovered from soil: Impact of soil environment and burial time. 11TH Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), 18th-20th September 2009, Bradford, UK – presentation

Deutschmann FMN, Schmerer WM (2012) Sexing sub-adult human remains with osteological and DNA-analysis based methodology. FIRN Midlands Regional Student Forensic Science Conference, April 20, 2012, Staffordshire University - poster

Oleiwi AA, Schmerer WM, Sutton R (2012) The effect of contaminants of fingermark residues on the success of DNA profiling. New Researcher’s Conference 2012 – Research Student Poster Exhibition & Competition. June 13, 2012, University of Wolverhampton

PhD supervision:

Christopher J Rogers: “Post mortem decomposition and the forensic analysis of mammalian tissues”, Research Centre in Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, England, UK

Abdulrahman Oleiwi: “The effect of contaminants from fingerprint residues and fingerprint development on the success of DNA profiling” Research Centre in Health Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, England, UK

 

Memberships in Professional Bodies:

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Forensic DNA Expert Community of the UK Home Office “Centre for Applied Science and Technology” (CAST)

Other University Responsibilities

Module leader for 4FS002 Introduction to Forensic Science, 5FS002 Forensic Biology & Anthropology, 7FS001 Forensic Anthropology, 7FS002 Forensic Genetics

Member of the Bioscience Ethics Board (University of Wolverhampton)

Marketing and admission of postgraduate courses

Development and optimization of methodology for the analysis of highly degraded and trace DNA

Ancient DNA research

Evaluation of osteological methodology in physical and forensic anthroplogy