Turi studied Biological Anthropology at Cambridge before moving into the field of molecular genetics, gaining a distinction in her MSc at the University of Leicester. Returning to Cambridge to take up a PhD, she gave it up when she found she was pregnant with her first child. Working part-time in genetics in Cambridge, Turi jumped at the chance to return to Leicester on a Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship and was awarded her PhD in November 2007. Her thesis was entitled ‘The relationship between British surnames and Y- chromosomal haplotypes’.
Turi is now Lecturer in Genetics and Archaeology in the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetic, and manages the Leverhulme-funded project The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain, which developed out of the earlier Roots of the British project. She is passionate about communicating science to the public and has appeared in, or advised on, numerous radio and TV programmes.