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Sue Black


Honorary Professor of Anatomy

  • President of St John's College, University of Oxford

Professor Dame Sue Black is an anatomist and a forensic anthropologist. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the British Academy, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal College of Physicians (Ed) and the Royal Society of Biology. She is the lifetime Professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy. In 2001, she was awarded an OBE for her services to war crimes investigations in Kosovo and in 2016 she was promoted to Dame Commander for her services to forensic anthropology. In 2021, she became a cross bench peer taking the title of Baroness Black of Strome. She is a recipient of the Lucy Mair medal for humanitarian endeavour, the anatomical gold medal for outstanding achievements and the Jephcott gold medal for distinguished scientific contribution. She holds two Police commendations for her forensic work and was awarded the Outstanding Woman of Scotland award and the RSE inspiration award.

Professor Black's research focusses on many aspects of human identification, but principally aligned to forensic cases associated with perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Her recent £2.5M ERC senior fellowship grant is entitled 'In search of uniqueness – harnessing anatomical hand variation (h-unique)'.

Photo credit: Robert Taylor