Nov. 19, 2021
As an undergraduate researcher in a Virginia Commonwealth University forensic molecular biology lab, Triniti Turner has been working on projects focused on DNA mixture separation analysis and on modifying an existing process for extracting DNA from teeth samples.
“I love true crime and reading about the actual specifics of the case and trying to determine who could have committed the crime,” Turner said. “Some cases that I read really resonated with me and had me wishing that I could do something to prevent such incidents from repeating, or at least help bring justice to those who weren’t given any.
“Biology has also always been one of my favorite subjects in school so when I found out there was a degree that combined these two interests of mine, I knew that was the degree for me,” she added. “Forensic science is a relatively new field and it’s advancing rather quickly so it’s exciting to be a part of its growth in helping to solve crimes faster and better identify offenders.”
Turner, who will graduate in December with a degree from the Department of Forensic Science in the College of Humanities and Sciences, is a work-study researcher in the lab of professor and department chair Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D., who describes Turner as “quiet, but funny and easygoing in a way that has a positive effect on [everyone in the lab].”
“Even as an undergraduate, she is mature, well-balanced, focused and hardworking,” Dawson Green said. She said Turner is a “pleasure to have in our lab group.”
“Her persistent, but patient and courteous nature led to several additional experiential learning experiences in the department over the past couple of years, including her work in my lab — which began as volunteer work,” Dawson Green said.
Turner transferred to VCU from Northern Virginia Community College in 2019. She was drawn to VCU because its forensic science program is one of only two in Virginia and fewer than 50 nationally to be accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission.