Doctor Janina Zięba-Palus is the winner of the Best Poster Award 2006.


She is a senior forensic scientist working on microtraces and fire debris analysis in the institute of forensic research in Cracow, Poland. Title of the poster: Praxis – Micro X-ray fluorenscence and micro Raman spectrometer in examination of forensic sample.

Janina Zięba-Palus is a member of the ENFSI Paint and Glass Working Group. She was educated at the Jagiellonian University, Maths-Physics-Chemistry Department in Krakow, where she obtained a masters degree in Chemistry in 1973. Four years later, she became a doctor of Chemistry. A professorial dissertation (habilitaton) followed in 2000.

Since 1973 she has worked at the Criminalistic Department of the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow, since 2001 as an assistant professor. Her main professional activities include routine and non-routine chemical analysis of evidence samples like microtraces of paints, polymers, glass, oils, soil, single fibres, using instrumental methods like AAS, ESA, FTIR, XRF, GC/MS, etc. She is also involved in training new and junior staff and in performing scientific research, mainly in the field of identification of automobile paint and oil samples as well as discrimination of glass fragments and examination of fire debris. Between 1990 and 1992 she was head of the Devision of Microtraces Analysis; in 1992 she became head of the Criminalistic Department. She has been a member of Scientific Council of the Institute of Forensic Research since 1991.

Janina is author and co-author of sixty scientific papers, concerning:

  • application of vibrational spectroscopy and atom absorption spectrometry in identification and discrimination of automobile paint and oil samples for criminalistic purposes;
  • examination of paper ageing process; estimation of possibility of paper samples identification by the use of infrared spectroscopy and elemental analysis;
  • fire debris examination using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry;
  • differentiation of glass traces on the base of refractive index measurements; application of chemometric methods for interpretation of analytical results obtained.

Up until now, she has been involved in the elaboration of six hundred forensic expertises concerning identification of criminal traces using chemical examination. She has participated in 44 international and sixty Polish conferences on analytical chemistry, forensic science and molecular spectroscopy as well as presentation results of scientific research.

Her teaching activities include lectures on “Forensic physicochemistry” for students of Chemistry Department (Jagiellonian University), on “Forensic expertise” for students of law (Jagiellonian University) and a set of lectures on the “Physicochemical analysis of criminalistic traces” for prosecutors and for apprentices in the legal profession during their postgraduate studies. She is also mentoring two PhD students who are researching fire debris and the examination of the refractive index of glass fragments.



  • Zięba-Palus J.: The Use of Micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy with X-Ray Micro Analysis for the Identification of Automobile Paint Chips, „Microchimica Acta”, suplement 14, 1997, 14, s. 357-359.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Application of Transmitance and Reflectance FTIR-Microscopy to Examination of Paints Transferred to Fabrics, „Microchimica Acta”, suplement 14, 1997, 14, s. 361-362.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Examination of Used Motor Oils by Flame AAS for Criminalistic Purposes. A Diagnostic Study, „Forensic Science International”, 91, 1998, s. 171-179.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Selected Cases of Forensic Paint Analysis, „Science and Justice”, 1999, 39(2), s. 123-127.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Micro Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in Examination of Easel Paintings, „J.Trace and Microprobe Techniques”, 1999, 17(3), s. 299-308.
  • Kłys M., Białka J., Lech T., Zięba-Palus J.: A Chemical and Physicochemical Study of an Egyptian Mummy „Iset Hetes” from the Ptolemaic Period IV-I b.c., „Forensic Science International”, 1999, 99(3), s. 217-228.
  • Zięba-Palus J., Kościelniak P.: Differentiation of Motor Oils by Infrared Spectroscopy and Elemental Analysis for Criminalistic Purposes, „J. Molecular Structure”, 1999, Vol. 482-483, s. 531-536.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Application of Micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to the Examination of Paint Samples, „J. Molecular Structure”, 1999, Vol. 511-512, s. 327-335.
  • Zięba-Palus J., Kościelniak P.: An analysis of the similarity of motor oils on the basis of their elemental composition, „Forensic Science International”, 2000 112 (2-3) 81-89.
  • Zięba-Palus J.: Microspectrophotometry in Forensic Science w „Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry: Instrumentation and Applications”, J. Wiley, (R.A. Meyers, ed.), 2000
  • J.Zięba-Palus, P.Kościelniak, M.Łącki, Differentiation between used motor oils on the basis of their IR spectra with application of the correlation method, „Forensic Science International”, 2001, Vol.122(1), s.35-42
  • J.Zięba-Palus, P.Kościelniak, M.Łącki, Differentiation of used motor oils on the basis of their IR spectra with application of the methods of cluster analysis, „J.Molecular Structure”, 2001, Vol. 596, s. 221-228
  • J.Zięba-Palus, B.Trzcińska, Selected cases of paint coating examination, Proceedings Cracow 2000, „Problems of Forensic Sciences”, 2001,Vol. XLVII, 147-153
  • J.Zięba-Palus, M.Ligęza, Application of micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to examination of easel paintings, Proceedings Cracow 2000, „Problems of Forensic Sciences”, 2001,Vol. XLVII, 418-425
  • M.Kłys, T.Lech, J.Zięba-Palus, J.Białka, A chemical and physicochemical investigations w „Mummy. Results of interdisciplinary examination of the Egyptian mummy of Aset-iri-khet-es from the Archeological Museum in Cracow”, ed. Polish Academy of Art and Sciences, Cracow 2001, 95-105
  • R.Borusiewicz, J.Zięba-Palus, G.Zadora, Application of head-space analysis with passive adsorption to the chromatographic detection and identification of accelerants in the ATD-GC-FID system, „Problems of Forensic Sciences”, 2002,Vol. LI, 87-105
  • J.Zięba-Palus, P.Kościelniak, Differentiation between used motor oils on the basis of their IR spectra for criminalistic purposes, „The Forensic Scientist”, 2003, Vol.1 No.1, 23-28
  • R.Borusiewicz, G.Zadora, J.Zięba-Palus, Application of head-space analysis with passive adsorption for forensic purposes in the automated thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mas spectrometry system, ”Chromatographia” 2004 ,60, S133-S142
  • M.Pawluk-Kołc, J.Zięba-Palus, G.Zadora, Differentiation of glass fragments on the basis of refractive index values determined by the thermoimmersion method. Application in criminalistics, „Problems of Forensic Sciences”, 2003 Vol. LVI, 48-64
  • Zięba-Palus J., Trzcińska B – Paint as the evidence – selected cases, „Problems of Forensic Science”, 2004, vol LVII , 124-134
  • Zięba-Palus J., Examination of spray paints by the use of reflection technique of microinfrared spectroscopy, J.Molecular Stucture, 744-747C (2005) 229-234
  • G.Zadora, R.Borusiewicz, J.Zięba-Palus, Differentiation between weathered kerosene and diesel fuel using ATD-GC-MS analysis and likelihood ratio approach, J.Separation Sci. 28 (2005)1467-1475
  • J.Zięba-Palus, M.Kunicki, Application of mikroinfrared and Raman spectrometry in examination of inks, Forens.Sci.Int 158 (2006) 164-172
  • R.Borusiewicz, J.Zięba-Palus, G.Zadora, The influence of the type of accelerant, type of burned materials,time of burning and accessibility of air on possibilityof detection of the accelerant traces, For.Sci.Int. 2006 (on line version)
  • M.Pawluk-Kołc, J.Zięba-Palus, A.Parczewski, Application of False Discovery Rate procedure to pairwise comparisons of refractive index of glass fragments from one windscreen, Forensic Sci. Int. 2006 (on line version)
  • R.Borusiewicz, J.Zięba-Palus, A comparison of effectiveness of Tenax TA and Carbotrap 300 in concentration of flammable liquids compounds, J.Forens.Sci. (in press)
  • J.Zięba-Palus, R.Borusiewicz, Examination of thin paint coats by the use of infrared and Raman spectroscopy for forensic purposes, J.Molecular Spectroscopy (in press)