IAFPA conference in Istanbul, Turkey – 2019

The IAFPA conference in Istanbul attracted attendees from no less than 19 different countries. IAFPA thanks Burcu Onder, the Council of Forensic Medicine and the sponsors for welcoming us all in the wonderful transcontinental city of Istanbul.

Congratulations for the best student presentation award go to: Julien Plante-Hébert

Congratulations for the best student poster award go to: Linda Gerlach

There are two offers to host IAFPA in 2020: the first is from Gea de Jong-Lendle (Marburg, Germany), the second is from Colleen Kavanagh (Ottawa, Canada)

IAFPA conference in Huddersfield, UK, 2018

The 2018 conference was held in Huddersfield, UK, and it was a huge success.  Thanks to Erica Gold, Sula Ross, and Kate Earnshaw for their offer to organise the meeting.

News updates from the conference:
– We have new members on the Executive Committee (Anna Bartle) and Research Committee (Georgina Brown and Vincent Hughes)
– The Student Prize for the best presentation at the 2018 conference went to Lucy Jackson (@LuceJackson on twitter) from the University of Huddersfield for her talk “Investigating Bradford speakers’ ability to imitate a SSBE accent: Implications for forensic phonetics”(in collaboration with Erica Gold)
– Our new student representatives are Sula Ross and Kate Earnshaw.
– Our next annual conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey – details will be forthcoming.

Research grant applications welcome – 2018/19

IAFPA is inviting applications for  (max. £1,300) research grants.

The current year’s suggested (but by no means mandatory) topics are:

  • large scale data analysis
  • validation of methods, and
  • female speakers

The deadlines for applications will be as follows:

  • submission of proposals: Oct 8, 2018
  • reviews by Research Committee returned to applicants: Oct 22
  • resubmission of applications (for which resubmission has been requested): Nov 5
  • notification of awards: by Nov 12

Please make your application using the form provided to members by the secretary. The instructions are given on the form itself. If you have any questions about the application and review process, please do not hesitate to email Vica Papp @ viktoria.papp@canterbury.ac.nz

IAFPA conference in Split, 2017

The 26th annual conference of IAFPA was held in Split, Croatia on 09-12 July 2017. It boasted an amazing setting and a host of excellent papers, including the winning student paper from Elliott Land (Uni. Huddersfield) on recognition of voices by lay listeners using laughter.  Attendees were treated to a fantastic dinner and live music on the island of Brač, following a beautiful sunset boat journey.  Thanks to the organisers for such a rewarding conference.

The 2018 conference will be held in Huddersfield.

Research Committee elections

Congratulations to Finnian Kelly and Radek Skarnitzl, who were elected to the Research Committee.  They replace Anil Alexander and Kirsty McDougall, who were both stalwart and exemplary members of the committee.

At the same ballot, it was decided that the PCC would be dissolved and replaced with a fixed-term working group to put forward a new Code of Practice and/or Ethics to the membership.

Prof Peter French awarded Life Membership of IAFPA

Peter FrenchAt the 25th Anniversary conference in York, Prof Peter French, President and Founding member of IAFPA, was bestowed with Life Membership of the organisation.  Prof French has served on many of IAFPA’s committees in the past and has acted as Chair of IAFPA.  He was awarded the honour by Dr Tina Cambier-Langevald following his keynote talk at the closing of the York conference.

IAFPA 2016 – 25th Anniversary conference held at York – 24-27 July 2016

The 25th annual conference of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics was held on 24th – 27th July 2016 in York.
The conference marked the 25th Anniversary of the official formation of (the then) IAFP in York in 1991. IAFP blossomed from annual meetings of forensic phonetic practitioners and interested academics in York from 1989 – 1991, with the first official conference meeting taking place in York the year after its inception. These early meetings took place with only a handful of members and papers. Since then, IAFP has grown to over 120 members across both forensic phonetics and acoustics (hence the addition of the latter ‘A’ to IAFPA). 
The programme for IAFPA is still online – please see the programme page.  The abstract book can be viewed online or can be downloaded here.

Research grant project: The ‘double filtering’ effect – a pilot study on GSM plus air-transmitted recordings using Automatic Voice Comparison.

Joel Åkesson and Jonas Lindh

Voxalys AB and
Division of Speech and Language Pathology
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg

This study aims at evaluating the effects of recording material consisting of what can be called and described as ‘double filtering’. This filtering effect can here be defined as sound transmitted via GSM communication (first filter), which then passes an indeterminable distance through the air prior to being captured by another recording device, such as a mobile phone or handheld recorder’s microphone second filter). Several cases have been received recently with material either known to have been subdued to this effect or suspected to be. To date and to the authors knowledge there has been little or no focus on analyzing the reliability and effects of this type of recorded material, which is why the aim is to conduct a pilot study where the so called ‘double filtering’ effect is evaluated primarily using Automatic Voice Comparison (AVC). However, a database such as the described can in the future be used to evaluate comparisons made using phonetic and linguistic analysis.

Research grant project: Identifying correlations between speech parameters for forensic speaker comparisons

Investigators: Erica Gold and Vincent Hughes
Affiliation: Department of Language and Linguistic Science, The University of York



Building on a pilot study carried out by the applicants (Gold and Hughes 2012), the project sets out to investigate two aspects of correlation between speech parameters. The first involves empirical testing of data from a homogeneous group of speakers (DyViS: Nolan 2009) to reveal correlations that may exist between traditional acoustic-phonetic parameters commonly used in forensic speaker comparisons. Secondly, we aim to address theoretical issues underlying the application of logistic regression fusion (Brümmer et al 2007) in a likelihood ratio (LR) framework, by comparing the levels of correlations found in the data against the levels of correlations found for LRs computed by a given system. The results have two sets of implications. Firstly, the results will provide an empirically-based starting point for making informed decisions concerned with the combination of parameters in real forensic speaker comparisons. This applies both to experts working in a LR framework who must account for naïve Bayes, as well as those working in other frameworks where the expert personally selects parameters to consider and combine in casework. Those making uninformed assumptions in regards to correlations that may exist between parameters used in casework could potentially carry out analyses which lead to miscarriages of justice in the representation of the strength of evidence. Secondly, the results are relevant in addressing how appropriate fusion is as a method for combining dependent parameters using LRs. For those working within a LR framework, the results are intended to provide a basis for the development of a Bayesian network (Taroni et al 2006) to create a ‘front-end’ mathematical model of interdependencies between speech parameters in order to appropriately combine parameters.