Speaker | Host
Prof. Turi E King is a Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics at the University of Leicester. She is best known for her work ‘cracking one of the biggest forensic DNA cases in history’. The genetic analysis in the identification of King Richard III.
She’s also known for her work alongside Stacey Dooley in BBC2’s DNA Family Secrets.
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A Canadian/British geneticist Turi started her career in archaeology in Canada before reading for her degree in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. While there, she became interested in how genetics could be used to answer questions in archaeology and history. Subsequently she went on to study at the University of Leicester for an MSc. Later PhD with Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys. He is the inventor of DNA fingerprinting who was on her PhD panel. Her award winning PhD focused on the link between genetics and a person’s surname with implications for both genetic genealogy and forensics.
Turi King's research in genetics and history brought her to the attention of Michael Wood where she appeared in two of his series, The Story of England and The Great British Story. Over the years, her work at the interface between genetics, forensics, history and archaeology has seen her study the genetic legacy of the Vikings in the north of England, the link between genetics and surnames and later added ancient DNA research to her portfolio.
In 2011, an interesting email arrived in Turi's inbox. It inquired whether she would she be interested in leading the genetic analysis in the King Richard III case. Her work on the case case catapulted her onto the world stage.
She’s since appeared in numerous documentaries and television shows. These include the Gadget Show and Crimewatch to the King in the Car Park and Britain’s Lost Battlefields. She regularly advises on television programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? Furthermore, she also has advised authors such as Patricia Cornwell and David McKie
An impressive speaker, Turi has given hundreds of talks around the world. These include a Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, to Who Do You Think You Are? Live! And opening the Moscow Science Festival to hosting awards events and visiting schools. The Professor has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s the Life Scientific, BBC Inside Science and is about to appear in the Reunion.
The winner of numerous awards for her speaking Turi guest-presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Alice Roberts in Japan. She’s been made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association. In addition the University of Leicester created the post of Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics for her work. She has produced award-winning videos for the University of Leicester and featured in videos for the Genetics Society/Royal Institution.
Turi can now be seen in BBC’s DNA Family Secrets helping Stacey Dooley use DNA to solve long held family mysteries.
Prof. Turi E King's speaking topics include:
- DNA fingerprinting: past, present, future
- King Richard III: the behind the scenes story of the dig and the identification of King Richard’s remains
- Genetic Genealogy
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