Sue Black (forensic anthropologist)

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Sue Black
Born Susan Margaret Gunn
(1961-05-07) 7 May 1961 (age 53)[1]
Alma mater University of Aberdeen

Susan Margaret Black, OBE, FRSE (born 7 May 1961 ) is a Scottish forensic anthropologist and academic. She is Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Sue Black was born in Inverness and educated at Inverness Royal Academy.[citation needed] She then achieved undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Aberdeen.[citation needed]


In 1987, she took up the post of lecturer in Anatomy at St. Thomas' Hospital, London which started her career in forensic anthropology and commenced a partnership with Louise Scheuer.[citation needed]

In 1999, she became the lead forensic anthropologist to the British Forensic Team in Kosovo, deployed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on behalf of the United Nations.

She published Developmental Juvenile Osteology[8] with Louise Scheuer in 2000, and four years later, The Juvenile Skeleton.[9] These books remain core reading for all students of osteology.[citation needed]

Sue Black is head of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee which runs undergraduate courses in forensic anthropology and postgraduate courses in anatomy and advanced forensic anthropology.[citation needed] This department is training the UK National Disaster Victim Identification (UK DVI) team for police and scientists in advanced mortuary practices.

Sue is a Director of the Centre for International Forensic Assistance[10][11] and a founder of the British Association for Human Identification[12] and the British Association for Forensic Anthropology. She is Deputy Principal for public engagement at the University of Dundee.

She co-authored the 2014 Syrian detainee report.

Awards and honours[edit]

Black was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She received the 2008 Lucy Mair Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute, a police commendation for DVI training and the OBE for her services to forensic anthropology in Kosovo. She has appeared on BBC television.[13]

In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour[14] and in 2014 was also the subject of The Life Scientific on the same station.[2] In 2014, her centre was awarded the Queen's anniversary award for higher education and in May of 2014, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award for her research into identification from the hand.


  1. ^ "BLACK, Prof. Susan Margaret, (Sue)" (Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012). (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Sue Black on The Life Scientific 2014-02-25
  3. ^ Sue Black from the Scopus bibliographic database.
  4. ^ Gapert, R.; Black, S.; Last, J. (2009). "Sex determination from the occipital condyle: Discriminant function analysis in an Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British sample". American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138 (4): 384. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20946. 
  5. ^ Schaefer, M. C.; Black, S. M. (2005). "Comparison of ages of epiphyseal union in North American and Bosnian skeletal material". Journal of forensic sciences 50 (4): 777–84. PMID 16078477. 
  6. ^ Robinson, C.; Eisma, R.; Morgan, B.; Jeffery, A.; Graham, E. A. M.; Black, S.; Rutty, G. N. (2008). "Anthropological Measurement of Lower Limb and Foot Bones Using Multi-Detector Computed Tomography". Journal of Forensic Sciences. doi:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00875.x. 
  7. ^ Pryde, F. R.; Black, S. M. (2005). "Anatomy in Scotland: 20 years of change". Scottish medical journal 50 (3): 96–8. PMID 16163991. 
  8. ^ ISBN 0126240000
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  9. ^ ISBN 0121028216
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  10. ^ "Centre for International Forensic Assistance". CIFA. 2003. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ Tim Thompson; Sue Black (14 November 2006). Forensic Human Identification: An Introduction. Taylor & Francis. pp. 384–. ISBN 978-0-8493-3954-7. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Ipswich Man". BBC 2. BBC. 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Professor Sue Black OBE" at BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list