Dundee University forensic anthropologist receives damehood

Professor Sue Black

Professor Sue Black, a leading expert in forensic anthropology has received a damehood for her services to her profession.

Professor Black, 55, who has been central to securing a number of convictions in several of the UK’s most high profile criminal cases, said she was “deeply honoured” if not “more than a little embarrassed” by the recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, Professor Black has had her forensic expertise called upon to convict a number of high profile criminals.

Her expertise helped to convict members of Scotland’s largest paedophile ring in 2009, as well as one of the Britain’s most notorious paedophiles Richard Huckle, who, earlier this week, was given 23 life sentences for abusing up to 200 children.

The team under Professor Black has developed new forensic techniques used to convict child abusers through vein and skin patterns.

She said: “I am deeply honoured to receive a damehood, and frankly more than a little embarrassed.

“We do not do this kind of work at Dundee to receive honours, we are absolutely committed to providing the best education in forensic science and using our research to provide the tools and techniques which can best-serve criminal investigations, historical cases and mass events such as natural disasters.

Ms Black, originally from Inverness, was awarded an OBE in 2011 for the work she carried out in Kosovo – heading up a British forensics team’s exhumation of mass graves, helping families recover the remains of loved ones.

Her services were also called upon in 2004 in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami and she is the founder of the British Association of Human Identification.

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