Professor Hawksworth is an expert mycologist with 50 years experience
Mycology is the study of fungi, and he is particularly concerned with their identification and application in forensic and environmental investigations, especially microscopic fungi (including moulds) and lichens. In forensic science, he uses them as trace evidence in linking people or objects with places, in estimating post-mortem interval from growths on human remains, ascertaining times of deposition, and investigating causes of poisonings. He also undertakes site surveys, environmental investigations, assessments of air pollution using lichens, investigation of mould growth due to water damage in buildings, and moulds on foods and manufactured items.
Since 2007, his clients have included twelve UK police forces (involving 20 cases of murder, manslaughter, and rape), insurance companies, and manufacturers. He has served as an expert witness in four murder trials and also in a civil cases concerned with damage by indoor moulds.
He was Director of the International Mycological Institute (Kew and Egham) from 1983-97, has served as a research professor in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the University of Southampton, a Scientific Associate in the Natural History Museum in London, an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, and Honorary President of the International Mycological Association. He was President of the International Union of Biological Sciences in 1994-1997 and of the International Mycological Association in 1990-94.
Work is undertaken for the defence and for the prosecution.
International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (2012), Chartered Society for Forensic Science (2011), National Crime Agency (2007), Fungus Conservation Trust (20xx), Mycological Society of America (1994), Royal Society for Biology (1986), British Mycological Society (1970), Systematics Association (1970), Linnean Society of London (1969), and British Lichen Society (1964)