National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Turi King

Affiliation: University of Leicester

Turi King is Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.   She holds her degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Leicester (MSc and PhD), and her fields of specialization are genetics and its implications for archaeology, history and geography, and genetic genealogy and forensics.  Professor King led the international research team involved in the DNA identification of the remains of Richard III and is now working on a number of projects including with the Jamestown Rediscovery team in Virginia. She has a media career alongside her academic one: she recently co-hosted the series Unearthed: Ancient Murder Mysteries and is currently the co-host of the hit BBC series, DNA Family Secrets. Professor King was an AIA Joukowsky Lecturer for 2018/2019. She is also one of the AIA Norton Lecturers for the 2024/2025 National Lecture Program season.


When the University of Leicester Archaeology Service undertook the Grey Friars project, it was thought that the chances of finding the remains of Richard III were slim to none. Nevertheless, Turi King, with her background both in archaeology (at the University of British Columbia and then the University of Cambridge) and genetics (at the University of Leicester where Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, was on her PhD panel), was the first team member approached by the lead archaeologist for the dig – should the skeletal remains of a ‘good candidate’ to be Richard III be found, would she be interested in overseeing the DNA analysis from planning the dig through to it’s conclusion. Turi King will speak about the Grey Friars project, from the early stages of planning the dig, through to the excavation and the results of the various strands of analysis, particularly the genetics, carried out on the remains.

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