Sac State Professor of Biological Sciences

Dr Ruth Ballard

I'm a human geneticist specializing in forensic serology and DNA. I teach courses in genetics and forensic biology at California State University, Sacramento and developed the concentration in Forensic Biology within the Department of Biological Sciences.

I serve as an expert witness in court cases involving biological evidence and have issued reports and/or testified in over 100 cases in the United States and abroad.

I was the DNA advisor for the U.C. Davis graduate program in Forensic Science for five years and have taught courses for the California Department of Justice in forensic biology instrumentation and DNA extraction techniques.

In 2002-2010, I ran a research program in Tanzania and Kenya, bringing the first forensic allele frequency DNA databases to those countries.

In addition to my activities as a forensic scientist, I am a children’s book author and artist who helps elementary school teachers prepare their students for a rapidly changing planet. In my author School Visits program,  Science Through Stories, I use my science-rich adventure stories, fairy tales, and colorful cartoons to teach kids the five pillars of ecological literacy and empower them to survive, thrive, and lead in the coming decades.

I am the author of two children's books, Mateo and the Gift of Presence and Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt, and am currently working on a third book in my Tales by Moons-light™ series, due out in late 2020.

My writing is for middle grade readers (9-12), but my creative ventures don’t stop there. I am also a folk artist whose unique, colorful cartoons aim to delight and inspire a broad audience that includes adults.

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Spring 2020 Office Hours:
Via Zoom: Video Conferencing

Mon and Wed: 3:00 - 4:00pm

E-mail: ballard@csus.edu
Office: TSC 5003
Phone: 916-278-6969

Spring 2020 teaching schedule:

BIO 150
(Forensic Biology)
All work will be done online

 
BIO 199
(Mentored Research in Forensic Biology)
Suspended until further notice due to COVID-19
STUDENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

Mentored Research: Thesis, Abstracts, and Publications

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Dr. Ballard and Sacramento State graduate student Mary Hansen gather buccal swabs from Masaai villagers to create a DNA allele frequency database for Tanzania.

Plascencia, A., DeRobertis, S., Faeth, K., and Ballard, R. Best practices for health care workers to protect against DNA-based false accusations of sexual assault. CAC Spring Seminar, Oakland CA (2019)

Arellano, A., DeWilde, S., Endo, R., Frias, A., LeDesma, B., and Ballard, R. Secondary transfer of assailants’ semen, saliva, and skin cells to bath mats, shower drains, and soap in mock sexual assault scenarios. CAC Spring Seminar, Oakland CA (2019)

Hickey, E., DeRobertis, S., and Ballard, R. “Analysis of DNA mixtures recovered from shared hoodies.” BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017); CAC Spring Seminar, Concord CA (2018)

Johnson, B., Silva, C., and Ballard, R. “Detection of blood and contact DNA evidence from sink pipes.” BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017); CAC Spring Seminar, Concord CA (2018)

Kiwan, R. Orozco, D., Dickover, R., and Ballard, R. “True Allele and STRmix: A comparison of two probabilistic DNA typing software programs.” In collaboration with the Forensic Science Graduate Program at UC Davis and the Kern County Regional Crime Laboratory in Bakersfield, CA. BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017); CAC Spring Seminar, Concord CA (2018)

Chan, T., Williams, A., and Ballard, R. “Optimal recovery of DNA from dried blood on wood.” BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017)

Juarez. M, Juarez, K. and Ballard R. “The effect of ignitable heating residue procedures on the ability to recover blood stains in arson investigations. In collaboration with the Sacramento County DA’s Laboratory of Forensic Services. BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017)

Schaller H., Olmos, R., and Ballard, R. “Does sunlight damage DNA on cigarette butts?” BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017)

Valente, J., Thao, B., and Ballard, R. “Identifying an art forger by touch DNA.” BIO 151 poster session, CSUS Sacramento (2017)

Bachman, A., Kan, L., and Ballard, R. “Patterns of DNA transfer onto common household items by cohabitants.” California Association of Criminalists Spring Seminar, San Francisco CA (2017).

Mallory, A., Lionudakis Perez, C., and Ballard, R. “Breaking up is easy: The uncoupling of serological and DNA tests in blood exposed to UV light.” California Association of Criminalists Spring Seminar, San Francisco CA (2017).

McNeese, M., Marty, S., and Ballard, R. “Recovery of Blood and Human DNA from a Washing Machine.” California Association of Criminalists Spring Seminar, San Francisco CA (2017).

Pritchett, D., Layne, N., and Ballard, R. “Patterns of Recovery of Touch DNA from Shoes and Socks. California Association of Criminalists Spring Seminar, San Francisco CA (2017).

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California State University, Sacramento
Department of Biological Sciences

6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6077

Ruth E. Ballard, Ph.D.

Professor of Biological Sciences and Forensic DNA Expert

E-mail: ballard@csus.edu
Phone: (916) 278-6969
Cell: (916) 835-3757
Fax: (916) 278-6993

Office: TSC 5003 

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