Richard Paul

Dr Richard Paul

  • Associate Professor in Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Christchurch House C205, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Richard Paul is a bioanalytical chemist with a particular interest in biomarker research for forensic and medical application. Richard is Chief Investigator on a multidisciplinary research project on cancer metabolomics. In collaboration with Dorset County Hospital and Poole Hospital the project aims to show proof of concept in a novel study for the early identification of skin cancer.

Richard also leads a project commissioned by the Prison Officers Association to investigate the issue of NPS abuse in UK prisons. NPS are new narcotic or psychotropic drugs (not controlled by the UN drug conventions) many of which pose serious health risks. Richard's team are using a range of analytical techniques to assess the prevalence of NPS abuse in UK prisons and will also be assessing the extent to which prison staff are exposed to secondary drug fumes during their employment. Richard’s work in this area has developed new techniques for the detection of synthetic cannabinoids in indoor air, and he also leads research on the detection of a wide range of NPS in wastewater...



Current research projects: 1. Current and future strategies for Currency Detection Dogs and implications for international policy. Funded by Border Force, Home Office.

2. Cancer Sensing: Metabolomics and data driven predictive modelling for non-invasive early detection of skin cancer. Funded by AboutFace.

3. Development of graphene based sensors for drug and alcohol detection. Funded by Surescreen Diagnostics Ltd.

4. Determination of New Psychoactive Substances in surface water across South Wales. Funded by SYNLAB UK.

Journal Articles

  • Boroujerdi, R., Paul, R. and Abdelkader, A., 2022. Rapid Detection of Amitriptyline in Dried Blood and Dried Saliva Samples with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Sensors, 22 (21).
  • Boroujerdi, R., Abdelkader, A. and Paul, R., 2022. Highly Sensitive and Selective Detection of the Antidepressant Amitriptyline Using a Functionalised Graphene-Based Sensor. ChemNanoMat, 8 (10).
  • Boroujerdi, R. and Paul, R., 2022. Graphene-Based Electrochemical Sensors for Psychoactive Drugs. Nanomaterials, 12 (13).
  • Boroujerdi, R., Abdelkader, A. and Paul, R., 2022. Highly selective detection of ethanol in biological fluids and alcoholic drinks using indium ethylenediamine functionalized graphene. Sensors & Diagnostics.
  • Boroujerdi, R. and Paul, R., 2022. Introducing Graphene–Indium Oxide Electrochemical Sensor for Detecting Ethanol in Aqueous Samples with CCD-RSM Optimization. Chemosensors, 10 (2).
  • Paul, R., Smith, S., Gent, L. and Sutherill, R., 2021. Air monitoring for synthetic cannabinoids in a UK prison: Application of personal air sampling and fixed sequential sampling with thermal desorption two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Drug Testing and Analysis, 13 (9), 1678-1685.
  • Gent, L. and Paul, R., 2021. The detection of new psychoactive substances in wastewater. A comprehensive review of analytical approaches and global trends. Science of the Total Environment, 776.
  • Gent, L. and Paul, R., 2021. Air monitoring for illegal drugs including new psychoactive substances: A review of trends, techniques and thermal degradation products. Drug Testing and Analysis, 13 (6), 1078-1094.
  • Lanfear, J.H., Voegel, C.D., Binz, T.M. and Paul, R.A., 2020. Hair cortisol measurement in older adults: Influence of demographic and physiological factors and correlation with perceived stress. Steroids, 163.
  • Boroujerdi, R., Abdelkader, A. and Paul, R., 2020. State of the Art in Alcohol Sensing with 2D Materials. Nano-Micro Letters, 12 (1).
  • Paul, R., Williams, R., Hodson, V. and Peake, C., 2019. Detection of cannabinoids in hair after cosmetic application of hemp oil. Scientific Reports, 9 (1).
  • Paul, R., Tsanaclis, L., Murray, C., Boroujerdi, R., Facer, L. and Corbin, A., 2019. Ethyl Glucuronide as a Long-term Alcohol Biomarker in Fingernail and Hair. Matrix Comparison and Evaluation of Gender Bias. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 54 (4), 402-407.
  • Paul, R., 2019. Alcohol markers in hair: an issue of interpretation. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 15 (2), 281-283.
  • Szafnauer, R., McGregor, L., Paul, R., Edwards, M. and Smith, S., 2019. Structural elucidation of new psychoactive substances in herbal incense using GC×GC-TOF MS with tandem electron ionization. Forensic Chemistry.
  • Paul, R. and Tsanaclis, L., 2018. Data on ethyl glucuronide and cocaethylene concentrations in the hair of cocaine users. Data in Brief, 20, 2036-2039.
  • Dumitrascu, C., Paul, R., Kingston, R. and Williams, R., 2018. Influence of alcohol containing and alcohol free cosmetics on FAEE concentrations in hair. A performance evaluation of ethyl palmitate as sole marker, versus the sum of four FAEEs. Forensic Science International, 283, 29-34.
  • Bossers, L.C.A.M. and Paul, R., 2014. Application of Bayesian Theory to the reporting of results in alcohol hair testing. Forensic Science International., 242, 56-58.
  • Bossers, L., Paul, R., Berry, A.J., Kingston, R., Middendorp, C. and Guwy, A.J., 2014. An evaluation of decontamination and extraction techniques in the analysis of ethyl glucuronide and fatty acid ethyl esters from hair samples. Journal of Chromatography B, 953-954, 115-119.
  • Paul, R., Kingston, R., Tsanaclis, L., Berry, A.J. and Guwy, A.J., 2011. Simultaneous determination of EtG and GHB in hair by GCMS/MS. Drug Testing and Analysis, 3, 201-205.
  • Paul, R., 2008. Hair of the dog: alcohol hair analysis. Advances Journal, 56 (12).
  • Paul, R., Kingston, R., Tsanaclis, L., Berry, A.J. and Guwy, A.J., 2008. Do drug users use less alcohol than non-drug users? Forensic Science International, 176, 82-86.
  • Paul, R., Tsanaclis, L., Kingston, R., Berry, A.J. and Guwy, A.J., 2006. GC-MS-MS Determination of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate in blood and urine. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 6, 375-379.


  • Paul, R. and Gent, L., 2020. Analysis of indoor prison air for the presence of psychoactive substances using active sampling and Thermal Desorption GCxGC-TOF MS.. POA & HMPPS.

Internet Publications

PhD Students

  • Bethan Davies. Determination of NPS in surface water across South Wales
  • Ramin Boroujerdi. Printable graphene sensors for drug and alcohol detection

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Case studies in forensic science - unit leader
  • Forensic science - unit contributor
  • Advanced Forensic Science - unit contributor
  • Forensic Toxicology - unit leader

Invited Lectures

  • 15 Jan 2021 more
  • 09 Dec 2020 more
  • 07 Jun 2018 more


  • Current and future strategies for Currency Detection Dogs and implications for international policy (Border Force, Home Office, 31 Mar 2023). Awarded
  • Stability of drugs of abuse on commercially available test kits (DSTL, 04 Jan 2022). Awarded
  • Follow on funding. Cancer Sensing: Metabolomics and data driven predictive modelling for non-invasive early detection of skin cancer (HEIF6, 12 Apr 2021). Awarded
  • Cancer Sensing: Metabolomics and data driven predictive modelling for non-invasive early detection of skin cancer (AboutFace, 02 Jan 2020). Awarded
  • Novel Psychoactive Substances in Prison: An Assessment of Prevalence and Prison Staff Exposure Risk. (Prison Officers Association, 02 Oct 2019). Awarded
  • Printable graphene sensing systems for drug and alcohol detection (SureScreen Diagnostics LtD, 01 Sep 2018). Awarded
  • Detection of Ethyl Glucuronide in fingernail samples: Application to abstinence monitoring. (Royal Society of Chemistry Research Grant, 07 Dec 2017). Awarded
  • Determination of NPS in surface water across South Wales (SYNLAB, 15 Nov 2017). Awarded
  • Influence of BMI on EtG and FAEE levels in head hair. (Bournemouth University, 22 Feb 2017). Awarded
  • TD-GC-TOF: A new approach for the analysis of drugs of abuse in hair (Business-led research collaboration investment, USW, 08 Jan 2016). Awarded
  • Evaluation of new extraction techniques to enhance laboratory performance (Strategic Insight Programme, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, 10 Apr 2013). Awarded
  • Alcohol markers in hair: New detection techniques and evidence interpretation (University of Glamorgan, 10 Jan 2010). Awarded
  • New developments in analytical toxicology for the investigation of drug facilitated assault (TrichoTech Ltd, 05 Sep 2004). Awarded

External Responsibilities

  • Scientific Reports, Editor
  • HMPPS Psychoactive Substances Expert and Working Group, Member
  • National QAA Subject Benchmark for Forensic Science 2021. Critical evaluation group., Member
  • Kings College London, External Examiner - MSc Analytical Toxicology

Internal Responsibilities

  • Analytical Science Research Group., (Lead).
  • Member, Faculty Ethics Committee.
  • TEF Subject lead: General, Applied and Forensic Sciences, TEF
  • Faculty Lead, Christchurch House redevelopment project
  • Member. Responsible for Premises, Facilities and Equipment., Human Tissue Authority working group
  • Member, Faculty Research Degrees Committee
  • Programme Leader., BSc Forensic Science
  • Accreditation lead., Chartered Society of Forensic Science

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • The secret information hidden in our hair. Cafe Scientifique (03 Dec 2019)
  • Bioanalytical hair analysis: Case reviews and research. Presented at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society (05 Nov 2019)
  • 'Stress, drugs and rock and roll' Festival of Learning (05 Jun 2018)
  • 'Hair of the Dog' Pint of Science - international science festival (01 May 2017)

Consultancy Activities

  • Oil company training programme consultant, Consultancy. Sirte Oil Company
  • Chemical analysis, Consultancy. Clariant
  • Forensic science workshops, Consultancy. Welsh Government


  • PhD in Analytical Toxicology (University of Glamorgan, 2007)


  • Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, Member,
  • Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Fellow, Fellow,
  • LTG (London Toxicology Group), Member,
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (C.Chem), Chartered Chemist, Fellow,
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow,
  • Society of Hair Testing, Member,