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Personal profile


I am the Director of the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons. I’m also a professor in missing person studies. I have worked for the University of Portsmouth since 2004. I have been the lead editor of a seminal book focusing on missing persons, and I have supported PhD and Professional Doctorate students on topics including risk assessment of missing adults, return interviews of missing persons, social media use in missing person cases and dementia and missing persons. I am the co-editor in chief of the International Journal of Missing Persons.

Research Interests

I am interested in applied research that has impact and improves services to missing people and their families.


My research interests include all areas relating to missing persons, for example:


  • Establishing the cost of a missing person investigation
  • International best practices in missing person investigations
  • Child Rescue Alerts
  • People who go missing abroad
  • Suicides methods and people who go missing
  • Definition of a missing person
  • Impact of publicity appeals of missing children
  • Safeguarding unaccompanied migrant minors who go missing
  • Carers role in the search for missing people living with dementia
  • Those who ‘come to notice’ to police and health services and subsequently abscond
  • Exploring best practices in the use of ‘absent’ cases
  • Missing persons and media bias
  • Repeat reports to the police of missing people: locations and characteristics


I am happy to receive informal enquiries relating to research in all areas relating to missing persons. 


I served in the Israeli Air Force Intelligence between 1991-1993. I graduated with a B.A. in Criminology and English literature from Bar Ilan University, Israel in 1997.  I then graduated with an MSc in Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool in 1999 and with a PhD in Investigative Psychology in 2004. 


Following the completion of my PhD my research focused on the spatial decision making of property offenders. In 2008 I began researching missing persons and in 2012 founded the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons.


As the Director of the Centre, I collaborate on various research projects with Police agencies, Police forces, NGO’s and other academics in the field from the UK and internationally.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules in the areas of Criminology, Psychology and missing persons. I also contribute to Distance Learning modules regarding missing persons and investigation and psychology on the Masters programme.

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and I am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact me directly at karen.shalev-greene@port.ac.uk tel: +44(0)23 9284 3938.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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