Staff profile

Professor Ian Turner

Professor in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education


Biology and Zoology, Forensic Science


Learning and Teaching




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Professor in Learning and Teaching. This means I work across the University supporting individuals, teams, departments and colleges with their learning, teaching and assessment activities.

I help implement any university-wide strategies that are concerned with ensuring our students have a truly engaging and excellent experience whilst studying with us.

Nationally I am a co-lead of #DryLabsRealScience (Life Sceince) and #RemoteForensicCSI two national networks that have showcased approaches to supporting remote practical pedagogies in response to the pandemic.  The networks has provided powerful learning opportunities that will live on beyond the pandemic.  The work of the network has been showcased by AdvanceHE, The Biologist & Laboratory News.  The resources for both networks are hosted on the Lecturemotely site.

Teaching responsibilities

I lead and teach a module on science communication, which is about how science is presented to the general public and how it’s understood by them.

I also teach on aspects of genetics, molecular biology and forensic document and handwriting examination in the College of Science & Engineering

Research interests

I am interested in all aspects of pedagogy especially around the topics of gamification, game-based learning, as well as innovative and creative learning, teaching and assessment.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

I am fortunate to be invited to speak at external events and teaching symposium. Talks since 2019:

In the media

I have had the pleasure of working with local and national media including radio, newspapers and TV. A highlight was appearing on ITV’s ‘The Forensic Casebook’ hosted by Matthew Kelly. I look forward to future opportunities.

white mug on a wooden table

Dr Ian Turner explains what a foundation year is and how study on one can help you to build a strong foundation on which to build your career on.

Wooden board game with counters and a dice

As we enter an extended period of lockdown many of us are looking for ways to entertain ourselves and our families at home. Dr Ian Turner, Professor at the University of Derby, explores the benefits of boardgames and provides 10 top tips for making your own.  

Two excited children using a laptop

With many people taking to home schooling their children for the first time at the moment, Dr Ian Turner, Professor at the University of Derby, shares his top online learning resources for children.

A person presenting at a TED Talk, pointing to a large screen on a stage in front of an audience.

You may have heard about your tutors and the academic staff who support you, going to conferences to present and learn about the latest research and thinking. Perhaps you have been to a conference yourself? But if you have not, what are they? And why should you want to go?

Lego pieces with storm trooper from star wars

In this article, Dr Ian Turner talks about the global phenomenon of Star Wars and explains some of the science fiction behind the science fact.

A pile of Brussels sprouts

No doubt you know people who have a pile of them on their dinner plate, and other people who go ‘eeewwww’ at the mere thought of sprouts. But why is this? Dr Ian Turner, Head of Forensic Science, investigates.

Recent publications

For my most recent research, take a look at my ResearchGate profile.

#52etc - 52 Engaging Toolkit Cards for enhancing student engagement.  Ian J. Turner, Stuart Norton & Jessica Mood. Published by Advance HE.  1st Dec 2020 (link)

Spaces and places:  Considerations for sharing SoTL findings with students. Trent W. Maurer, Cherie Woolmer, Nichole Powell, Carol Sisson, Catherine Snelling, Odd Rune Stalheim, and Ian J. Turner. Teaching and Learning Enquiry.  Accepted Nov 2020.

#DryLabsRealScience: Teaching practicals without labs.  Ian J. Turner.  Laboratory News.  16 November, 2020.

Practical thinking in a pandemic. Prachi Stafford, Dominic Henri, Nigel Francis, David Smith Ian J. Turner.  The Biologist (magazine of the Royal Society of Biology) September 2020.

Bringing Pantomime into Education (Case Study) in Achieving Teaching Excellence: Developing your TEF Profile and Beyond. By Peter Wolstencroft, Leanne de Main and Paul Cashian. August 2020

Assessment: The Game and supporting guide published in “Transforming Assessment” as part of the “Essential Framework for Enhancing Student Success Series by Advance HE, May 2020

Tale of Two Games – Regular Feature in Labortaory News (9000 labs, a readership of 40,000 scientists and 33,000 website hits per month.) beginning July 2019

Experimental Science (Chapter) in A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in HE, 5th Edition. Edt. Stephanie Marshall.  Published November 2019.

Tabletop Gaming in Wildlife Conservation. Louise A Robinson and Ian J. Turner. In The Power of Play in Higher Education: Creativity in Tertiary Learning. Edt Alison James and Chrissi Nerantzi, Springer (Jan 2019)

The use of gamification in the teaching of disease epidemics and pandemics. Louise A Robinson, Ian J, Turner and Michael J Sweet, FEMS Microbiology Letters, April 2018

Cetacean Frustration: The Representation of Whales and Dolphins in Picture Books for Young Children. Ellen S. Beaumont, Philippa Mudd, Ian J. Turner and Kate Barnes. Early Childhood Educ J

The Simpsons in Higher Education. Ian J. Turner and Cristina H. Plant, Innovative Practice in Higher Education2 (3) April 2016 pages 1-15

Lecture Theatre Pantomime: A creative delivery approach for teaching undergraduate transcription and translation. Ian J. Turner, Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 2 (1) April 2014 pages 1-13

Lonely Heart Columns: A Novel and Entertaining Way of Teaching Students Abstract Writing Skills. Ian J. Turner and Ellen Beaumont, Innovative Practice in Higher Education,1 (3) April 2013 pages 1-11

Engaging Biological Sciences Students in the Development of Employability Skills through Creative Teaching and Peer Reviewed Action Plans. Ian J. Turner and Liz Day, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Issue 4, March 2012

Study Promoting Undergraduate Student Conference Attendance Has Benefits for All! Ian J Turner, Student Research Projects: A Case Study for the HEA Bioscience Subject Group, 2009

Who wants to be a biologist? An excellent quiz tool for students. Ian J Turner, HEA Bioscience Education E-journal, 11-c1, April 2008

  • Exposing latent fingermarks on problematic metal surfaces using time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy. Tshaiya Devi Thandauthapania, Adam J. Reeve, Adam S. Long, Ian J. Turner, James S. Sharp. Science and Justice, 2018
  • Indentation recovery threshold using the Electrostatic Detection Apparatus®. Bente Roloff, Bethan Offa, and Ian J. Turner. Canadian Society of Forensic Science. 2016
  • Teaching Forensic Handwriting Analysis Using The Simpsons. Ian James Turner, Cristina Helen Plant, Ashleigh Whiffin, and Chloe Newton, The Forensic Examiner August 2015
  • Nanotechnology in Forensic Science. Ian J Turner and Ya Tsz A Turner, The Report – Journal of the Westminster and Holborn Law Society, September 2010
  • Forensic science and the attribution of 19th century stereoviews. John Bradley and Ian J Turner, Sterepscopic World, Vol 35 (8) 2010
  • A Comparison of the identifying features in Signatures and Digitally Scanned Signatures. Nazia Mehrban and Ian J. Turner. American Journal of Questioned Document Examiners – Volume 11, No. 1. June 2008
  • Investigation of class characteristics in the Gurmukhi handwriting of 1st and 2nd Generation Punjabi’s. Ian J. Turner, Rajvinder K. Sidhu and Julian M. Love, Science and Justice – 48, 2008 Pages 126-132