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Alice Roberts

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Alice Roberts

Phoebe Stevens

David Stevens (m. 2000)

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Smiling Alice Roberts wearing sleeve and a necklace

Alice May Roberts 19 May 1973 (age 51)  Bristol, England (

Anatomist , Paleopathologist , Osteoarchaeologist , Physical Anthropologist , television presenter , Author

University of Birmingham , National Health ServiceBritish Broadcasting Corporation University of Wales , University of Bristol

Known for
Don't Die Young: An Anatomist's Guide to Your Organs and Your Health

TV shows

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Lucy Worsley, Mary Ann Ochota

Dr alice roberts carpool

Alice May Roberts (born 19 May 1973) is an English anatomist, osteoarchaeologist, physical anthropologist, palaeopathologist, television presenter and author. She is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.


Alice Roberts holding an animal skull

Birmingham heroes alice roberts

Early life and education

Smiling Alice Roberts

Roberts was born in Bristol in 1973, the daughter of an aeronautical engineer and an English and arts teacher. She grew up in Westbury-on-Trym where she attended Westbury C-of-E Primary School and The Red Maids' School. In December 1988 she won the BBC1 Blue Peter Young Artists competition, appearing with her picture and the presenters on the front cover of the 10 December 1988 edition of the Radio Times.

Alice Roberts wearing a sleeve with her bag

She was a medical student at University of Wales College of medicine (then part of the University of Wales, now part of Cardiff University) and graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB BCh) degree, having gained an intercalated Bachelor of Science degree in anatomy.


Standing Alice Roberts wearing a white and green sweatshirt

After graduating in 1997, Roberts worked in clinical medicine as a junior medical practitioner with the National Health Service in South Wales for 18 months. In 1998 she left clinical medicine and worked as an anatomy demonstrator in the Anatomy Department at the University of Bristol, becoming a lecturer there in 1999.

Smiling Alice Roberts wearing a white sleeve and necklace

She spent seven years working part-time on her PhD in paleopathology, the study of disease in ancient human remains, receiving the degree in 2008. She worked as Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol Centre for Comparative and Clinical Anatomy, where her main roles were teaching clinical anatomy, embryology, and physical anthropology, as well as researching osteoarchaeology and paleopathology. She stated in 2009 that she was working towards becoming a professor of anatomy.

In 2009 she co-presented modules for the "Beating Bipolar" programme, the first internet-based education treatment for patients with bipolar depression, trialled by Cardiff University researchers.

From August 2009 until January 2012, she was a Visiting Fellow in both the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Department of Anatomy of the University of Bristol.

In February 2012, Roberts took up a new post as the University of Birmingham's first Professor of Public Engagement in Science.

She is currently the Director of Anatomy for Bristol's Severn Deanery Postgraduate School of Surgery, and is also an Honorary Fellow of Hull York Medical School.

Writing in the "i" newspaper in 2016, Roberts dismissed the aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) as a distraction "from the emerging story of human evolution that is more interesting and complex", adding that AAH has become "a theory of everything" that is simultaneously "too extravagant and too simple". She concluded by saying that "science is about evidence, not wishful thinking".

Television career

Roberts first appeared on television in the Time Team Live 2001 episode, working on Anglo-Saxon burials at Breamore, Hampshire. She went on to serve as a bone specialist and general presenter in many episodes, including the spin-off series Extreme Archaeology. In August 2006, a Time Team special episode Big Royal Dig investigated the archaeology of Britain's royal palaces, and Roberts was one of the main presenters for this programme.

Now a familiar face on British TV as a presenter on various science documentary programmes, Alice Roberts is one of the regular co-presenters of BBC geographical and environmental series Coast.

Roberts wrote and presented a BBC Two series on anatomy and health entitled Dr Alice Roberts: Don't Die Young, which screened from January 2007. She presented a five-part BBC Two series on human evolution and early human migrations entitled The Incredible Human Journey, beginning on 10 May 2009. In September 2009, she co-presented (with Mark Hamilton) A Necessary Evil?, a one-hour documentary about the Burke and Hare murders.

In August 2010 she presented a one-hour documentary on BBC Four, Wild Swimming, inspired by Roger Deakin’s book Waterlog. Roberts presented a four-part BBC Two series on archaeology in August–September 2010, Digging For Britain. Roberts explained, "We’re taking a fresh approach by showing British archaeology as it's happening out in the field, from the excitement of artefacts as they come out of the ground, through to analysing them in the lab and working out what they tell us about human history." The series returned in 2011 and again (on BBC Four) in 2015 and 2016.

In March 2011 she presented a BBC documentary in the Horizon series entitled Are We Still Evolving? She presented the series Origins of Us, which aired on BBC Two in October 2011, examining how the human body has adapted through seven million years of evolution. The last part of this series featured Roberts visiting the Rift Valley.

In April 2012 Roberts presented Woolly Mammoth: Secrets from the Ice on BBC Two. From 22 to 24 October 2012, she appeared, with co-presenter Dr George McGavin, in the BBC series Prehistoric Autopsy, which discussed the remains of early hominins such as Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and Australopithecus afarensis. In May and June 2013, she presented the BBC Two series Ice Age Giants. In September 2014 she was a presenter on the Horizon programme Is Your Brain Male or Female?

In October 2014 she presented Spider House. In 2015 she co-presented a 3-part BBC TV documentary with Neil Oliver, entitled The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice, and wrote a book to tie in with the series: The Celts: Search for a Civilisation. In April-May 2016 she co-presented the BBC Two programme Food Detectives which looks at food nutrition and its effects on the body.

In May 2017 she was a presenter on the BBC Two documentary The Day The Dinosaurs Died.


  • In 2014 Roberts presented the Morgan-Botti lecture.
  • Honorary doctorates (DSc) received from Royal Holloway, University of London Bournemouth University and the Open University.
  • Honorary doctorate of medicine (MD) received from Sussex University.
  • Awarded British Humanist of the Year 2015, for work promoting the teaching of evolution in schools.
  • Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2015 - for The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being.
  • Personal life

    Roberts lives near Bristol with her husband, daughter, and son. She met her husband in Cardiff in 1997 when she was a medical student and he was an archaeology student. She is a pescatarian, a humanist and a Patron of the British Humanist Association.

    Roberts enjoys watercolour painting, surfing, cycling, gardening, and pub quizzes. Roberts is an organiser of the Cheltenham Science Festival and school outreach programmes within the University of Bristol's Medical Sciences Division. In March 2007, she hosted the Bristol Medical School's charity dance show Clicendales 2007, to raise funds for the charity CLIC Sargent.

    Roberts took her baby daughter with her when touring for the six-months filming of Digging for Britain.


  • Roberts, Alice (2015). The Celts: Search for a Civilisation. Heron Books. ISBN 1784293326. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2014). The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: Evolution and the Making of Us. Heron Books. ISBN 1-8486-6477-X. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2011). Evolution The Human Story. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 1-4053-6165-4. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2010). The Complete Human Body. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 1-4053-4749-X. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2009). The Incredible Human Journey. Bloomsbury Publishing plc. ISBN 0-7475-9839-8. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2007). Don't Die Young: An Anatomist's Guide to Your Organs and Your Health. Bloomsbury Publishing plc: London, 2007. ISBN 0-7475-9025-7. 
  • Robson-Brown, Kate; Roberts, Alice (eds.) (2007). BABAO 2004 : proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, University of Bristol. British Archaeological Reports. Oxford, England: Archaeopress. ISBN 978-1-4073-0035-1. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Scientific articles

    Roberts has also authored or co-authored a number of peer reviewed scientific articles in journals.


    Alice Roberts Wikipedia

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