the science of scent

Hands on
research projects

Making Discoveries


Field Analysis

Making Sense of Scent


Canine Certifications

Starting in 1998, IFRI/NFSTC Detector Dog Team Certification program working with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Contraband Interdiction Program and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and other partners established the first Statewide K-9 trainer and detection team certification program with independent scientific validation.

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Current Scientific Work

Dr. Furton and his research group are currently focusing on advances in the sampling and identification of illicit substances and persons in the field and in the lab. Since becoming an FIU faculty member in 1988, he has authored or co-authored more than 800 publications and presentations, 21 patents and has been continuously funded for more than two decades with over $14 million in extramural grants.

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Graduate Students

The graduate students in Dr.Furton’s lab are primarily focused on one of the following research areas: development of human scent as a biometric tool; identification of characteristic volatile organic compounds released from drugs, explosives, and fungi; development of non-hazardous surrogate continuation aids for instrument calibration; and detection of organic traces.

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Admin. Contributions

Dr. Furton was appointed Provost and Executive Vice President of Florida International University on July 2014. He is a leading scholar in forensic chemistry, specializing in scent detection. He served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2007 to 2014, where he transformed the university’s largest college into three mission-based interdisciplinary schools to explore and address some of the biggest issues facing society today. During his tenure, the college of Arts and Sciences raised over $41 million in philanthropic gifts and saw its research grants funding increase from $27 million to $60 million annually.

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