Professor Lady Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome

Professor Lady Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome LT, DBE, FRS, FRSE, FRAI, FRSB, ChFA

The President, St John's College



Professor Lady Sue Black is the 37th President of St John's. She took up post on 1 September 2022.

Professor Lady Black is one of the world’s leading forensic scientists and has most recently been the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, tasked with raising the University’s profile locally, regionally and nationally whilst championing the economic growth and regeneration of North West England.

Developmental Juvenile Osteology

Since graduating from the University of Aberdeen in human anatomy and forensic anthropology, Professor Lady Black has had a varied and distinguished academic career, lecturing in Anatomy at St Thomas’ Hospital London and working as a consultant in forensic anthropology for both the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, undertaking forensic investigations in Iraq, Sierra Leone and Grenada. She was the lead forensic anthropologist during the international war crimes investigations in Kosovo. From 2003 to 2018 she was Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at Dundee University.

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Professor Lady Black has written widely and has made regular media appearances, including on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and The Life Scientific. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education and Forensic Science and in 2021 entered the House of Lords as a crossbencher peer as Baroness Black of Strome. Professor Black is also the 65th President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and she is the lifetime Professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy.

Professor Lady Black is Visiting Professor of Forensic Anatomy in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in the University of Oxford. She is also Visiting Professor, Cyber Security Research Centre (Health), Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence).

In March 2024 Professor Lady Black was appointed to the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland.