Digital Forensics Research Group

SoC was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to fund a Site as one of two sites that make up a broader Center for Advanced Forensic Science Research. Our Site has focus in Digital Forensic Research and brings together more than a dozen active researchers with a range of specialties. The intensified collaboration of an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) encourages both students and industrial partners to capitalize on faculty foundational knowledge and practical expertise to perform industrially relevant fundamental research. Broader center interaction exposes faculty, students and industrial partners to cross-cutting research issues along with presenting prospects for interdisciplinary and cross-university collaboration.

The Digital Forensics Information Intelligence (DFII) Research Group consist of academic faculty from computing science and information technology, undergraduate and post graduate students, and industry professionals. Click Here for SOC Digital Forensics Capabilities

Meeting Time: 5:15 - 6:00 pm every Wednesday
Location: Shelby Hall - Room 2121


Michael Black, PhD

Michael Black is an Assistant Professor in the IST department. He is the lead investigator, bringing several years of forensic experience. Michael has done significant research in data carving, and on discovery of new tools that can be used to locate and retrieve and recover data, and enable forensic experts to succeed in data recovery and establishment of the chain of evidence satisfactory for the courts.


Jordan Shropshire, PhD

Dr. Jordan Shropshire is a Professor in the Department of Information Systems and Technology at the University of South Alabama. His research centers on the technical and strategic aspects of information security. His research is funded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency. Dr. Shropshire has published articles in journals such as European Journal of Information Systems, Computers & Security, and Journal of Computer Information Systems. He has served as reviewer and ad hoc associate editor for journals such as MIS Quarterly, European Journal of Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, and Information Systems Research. He has completed external reviewers for the National Science Foundation. He has presented research and provides reviews for conferences such as America’s Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), and Hawaiian International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS). Dr. Shropshire completed his PhD in Management Information Systems from Mississippi State University and his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration at the University of Florida.


Ryan Benton, PhD

Dr. Ryan Benton is the Chair of the Department and an Associate Professor of Computer Science. Prior to joining USA, Dr. Benton was a research scientist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). While at UL Lafayette, he served within the Informatics Research Institute (IRI) and the Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS); he was also a founding member of the Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI), the only Nation Science Foundation Industry/University Collaborative Research Center in Louisiana. Dr. Benton, while associated with UL Lafayette, also served as Director of Research for Star Software Systems Corporation from 2001 to 2005. He received his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems (1995) from Loyola University New Orleans and his M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Computer Science at UL Lafayette. His research interest lies in the fields of data mining and machine learning, with a current focus upon advanced pattern mining methods, novel graph mining algorithms, and applied applications.

Maureen Van Devender, PhD

Maureen Van Devender is currently an instructor in the School of Computing at the University of South Alabama. She has a BS in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of South Alabama, a MBA from Spring Hill College and a Ph.D. in Computing from the University of South Alabama. Her research focuses on health informatics.


Rhonda Lucas, PhD

Rhonda Lucas is currently an Instructor at the University of South Alabama. She has a Ph.D in Computing and a Master's in Information Systems from the University of South Alabama. She also has a Bachelor's in Management Information Systems with a minor in Computer Science from the University of South Alabama. Her research areas include Big Data, data governance, privacy, cyber assurance, cyber security, and forensics with specific interest in business, education, and non-profit organizations.


David Keeler

David Keeler has worked as a consultant in several different client industries. David's areas of specialty include expertise in a variety of PC and web-based programming languages; data modeling, management and organization; and forensic data analysis. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the states of Alabama and Texas. In addition to his diverse technology knowledge and experience, David has also been an organizational leader, holding management positions in the areas of accounting, finance, operations and marketing.

He has served as an expert witness on technology matters, and has worked extensively with Patent and Intellectual Property issues as they apply to telecommunications and related technologies. He holds a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Business Administration.


Les Barnett

Les Barnett is the Director of the Center for Forensics, Information Technology, and Security (CFITS) at the University of South Alabama. He brings over 30 years of business management experience, most of which was in the information technology industry. Mr. Barnett was a founder of Omniphone, Inc. and operated that company as president and CEO for twenty years, retiring in 2008. While there, his company developed and provided embedded systems to telephone service providers, including BellSouth, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell, AT&T, Cincinnati Bell and others. In addition to billing, data mining operations were provided as a service, with the emphasis on fraud control, forensics and IT security.


Darren Martin

Darren Martin is an seasoned IT professional with experience in managing a large IT organization.


Elizabeth Tang

Ms. Tang earned her undergraduate degree in Information Technology at the University of South Alabama School of Computing, where she specialized in Digital Forensics and Networking. Current working on a masters in Software Engineering with Penn State. Ms. Tang is currently a Software/Applications Developer at AM/NS Calvert.