Short CV/Education and training

  • Completed UG degree in human anatomy from the University of Aberdeen in 1982. Completed PhD in human anatomy from University of Aberdeen in 1986. Lecturer in human anatomy at St Thomas' Hospital School of Medicine from 1986-1992. 1992-2003 various contracts with Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UN in relation to identification of victims and perpetrators. in 1999 I took the role as lead forensic anthropologist for the British forensic team in Kosovo and in that year was also deployed to Sierra Leone and Grenada. In 2003 I undertook two tours to Iraq and accepted the position of Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee. I am Director and Dean of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification and Deputy Principal for public engagement for the University of Dundee. In 2005 I deployed to the aftermath of the Asian tsunami.

    I hold directorship of a number of companies.

Selected publications

  • Black, S.M., Sutherland, G., Mallett, X. and Hackman, L. (2011). The UK DVI Casebook. Taylor and Francis, London.

  • Black, S.M. and Ferguson, E. (2011). Forensic Anthropology 2000-2010. CRC Press, Florida.

  • Black, S.M., Aggrawal, A. and Payne-James, J. (2010). Age evaluation in the living for medico-legal purposes. Wiley, London.

  • Black, S.M., Walker, G., Hackman, L and Brooks, C. (2010). DVI ? A practitioner's guide. Dundee University Press, Dundee.

  • Cunningham, C. and Black, S.M. (2013). The Vascular Collar of the Ilium – Three-dimensional Evaluation of the Dominant Nutrient Foramen. Clinical Anatomy 26(4): 502-508.

  • Hackman, L. and Black, S. (2013). Age estimation from radiographic images of the knee. Journal of Forensic Sciences DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12077.

  • Black, S.M., MacDonald-McMillan, B. and Mallett, X. (2013). The incidence of scarring on the dorsum of the hand. Int J Led Med DOI: 10.1007/s00414-013-0834-7

    Jackson, G. and Black, S. (2013). Use of data to inform expert evaluative opinion in the comparison of hand images – the importance of scars. Int J Leg Med. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-013-0828-5

  • Black, S., MacDonald-McMillan, Mallett, X., Rynn, C. and Jackson, G. (2013). The incidence and position of melanocytic nevi for the purposes of forensic image comparison. Int J Leg Med. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-013-0821-z

  • Davies, C., Hackman, L. and Black, S. (2013). The persistence of epiphyseal scars in the Adult tibia. Int J Leg Med. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-013-0838-3

  • Davies, C., Hackman, L., and Black, S. (2013) The utility of the proximal epiphysis of the 5th metatarsal in age estimation. Journal of Forensic Sciences. DOI: 10.1111/¬1556-4029.12069

  • Davies, C., Hackman, L. and Black, S. (2013). A test of the Whitaker scoring system for estimating age from the bones of the foot. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 127, Issue 2 (2013), Page 481-489. doi:10.1007/s00414-012-0777-4

  • Black, S.M., Creese, S., Guest, R.M., Pike, B., Saxby, S., Stanton Fraser, D., Stevenage, S.V., & Whitty, M.T. (2012). SuperIdentity: Fusion of Identity across Real and Cyber Domains. Refereed Proceedings of ID360: Global Issues in Identity, Texas, April 23-24th, 2012.

Selected projects

Current research projects include:

  • The development of a unique biometric for the identification of perpetrators of child sexual abuse from images

  • Age estimation from the living

  • The development of the juvenile pelvis with implications for surgical implantation

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Fellow Royal Society Edinburgh

  • Fellow Royal Anthropological Institute

  • Fellow Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

  • Hon Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

  • Member (and founder) British Association for Human Identification

  • Member (and founder) British Association for Forensic Anthropology

  • Member Anatomical Society

  • Member Clinical Anatomy

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Strong communication skills


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  1. Eleven AcademiaNet members receive ERC Advanced Grants

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  2. A Body of Knowledge

    A childhood job in a butcher’s shop led Professor Sue Black to the mortuary and a career identifying human bodies – dead and living – in war zones and for criminal cases.

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