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Alice May Roberts (born 1973) is a British anatomist, osteoarchaeologist, anthropologist, television presenter, and author.

Best known for her TV appearances in the BBC series Coast, Dr Alice Roberts: Don't Die Young, and The Incredible Human Journey, she has also appeared as an expert osteoarchaeologist on the Channel 4 television series Time Team and its spin-off show Extreme Archaeology.

Early life and education

Roberts was born in Bristol in 1973 and attended The Red Maids' School in Westbury-on-Trym, in the north of Bristol.[1][2][3] 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 qualified in 1997 as a medical doctor (MB BCh) having gained an intercalated BSc in anatomy.[2][4][5]

Academic career

After graduating in 1997, Roberts went on to work as a junior doctor in South Wales, and from 1998 as an anatomy demonstrator in the Anatomy Department at the University of Bristol, becoming a lecturer there in 1999.[1][2] She spent more than seven years working part-time on her PhD in palaeopathology, the study of disease in ancient human remains.[1][2] She worked as senior teaching fellow at Bristol, where her main roles were teaching clinical anatomy, embryology, and physical anthropology as well as researching osteoarchaeology and paleopathology.[2][4][6] She is working towards becoming a professor of anatomy.[7] She is currently an anatomist, author and broadcaster, and since August 2009 has been a Visiting Fellow in both the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Department of Anatomy.[4][8][9]

TV career

A presenter on various science documentary programmes, Roberts first appeared on television in the Time Team Live 2001 episode,[10] working on Anglo-Saxon burials at Breamore, Hampshire. She has since served as a bone specialist and general presenter in many episodes, including the spin-off series Extreme Archaeology. In August 2006, the 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. She is also one of the regular co-presenters of BBC geographical and environmental series Coast.[11]

Now a familiar face on British TV, Alice 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. More recently, 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.[12] She is now working on a second series on human migration[13]. In September 2009, she co-presented (with Mark Hamilton) A Necessary Evil?, one-hour documentary about Burke and Hare murders.[14] In August 2010 she presented another one-hour documentary on BBC Four, Wild Swimming, inspired by Roger Deakin’s book Waterlog.[15]. Roberts will also present a four part BBC Two series on archaeology in August 2010, Digging For Britain.[16][17]

Personal life

Roberts lives near Bristol with her daughter Phoebe (born 2009) and husband David Stevens,[18] whom she met in Cardiff in 1997 when she was a medical student and he was an archaeology student, and married in 2000.[1][4][7][11][19] She is a vegetarian.[20]

Her conspicuous dyed red hair (its precise shade varies at different times from a comparatively subtle brown with mild copper tint to bright orange) was often commented on by viewers - in more recent TV appearances her hair colour has changed to a more natural look.[5][21] She enjoys watercolour painting, surfing, cycling, gardening and pub quizzes.[1] She owns an old lime green Volkswagen van which has appeared in some episodes of Coast, and which she bought second-hand from Mick Aston,[5] professor of landscape archaeology at the University of Bristol and lead archaeologist of the Time Team TV series.[22] Roberts is an organiser of the Cheltenham Science Festival and school outreach programmes within the University of Bristol's Medical Sciences Division.[2] In March 2007, she hosted the Bristol Medical School's charity dance show Clicendales 2007, to raise funds for the charity CLIC Sargent.[23]

Selected publications


  • Roberts, Alice (2009). The Incredible Human Journey. Bloomsbury Publishing plc. ISBN 0747598398. 
  • Roberts, Alice (2007). Don't Die Young: An Anatomist's Guide to Your Organs and Your Health. Bloomsbury Publishing plc: London, 2007. ISBN 0747590257. 
  • Robson-Brown, Kate; Roberts, Alice M (eds.) (2007). BABAO 2004 : proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, University of Bristol. Oxford, England: British Archaeological Reports. ISBN 9781407300351 

Scientific articles

  • Lockwood, Alistair M.; Roberts, Alice M. (2007). "The anatomy demonstrator of the future: An examination of the role of the medically-qualified anatomy demonstrator in the context of tomorrow's doctors and modernizing medical careers". Clinical Anatomy 20 (4): 455–459. Template:Citation error. 
  • Template:Cite doi
  • Roberts, Alice; Robson-Brown K., Musgrave J.H. and Leslie I. (2006). "A case of bilateral scapholunate advanced collapse in a Romano-British skeleton from Ancaster". International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 16 (3): 208–220. Template:Citation error. ISSN 1099-1212. 


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "In the hot seat: Alice Roberts". www.thisisbristol.co.uk. 11 July 2008. http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/hot-seat-Alice-Roberts/article-216428-detail/article.html. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Staff: Dr Alice May Roberts MB BCh BSc PhD". University of Bristol. 24 April 2009. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/anatomy/research/staff/roberts.html. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  3. "The Red Maids' School Celebrating 375 Years". Then Red Maids' School. 2009. pp. 2. http://www.redmaids.bristol.sch.uk/public/uploads/375-Programme_of_Events%5B1%5D.pdf. Retrieved 2009-10-20. "This conference ... will be led by former Red Maid and star of BBC’s Coast, Dr Alice Roberts ..." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "University of Bristol: Directory of Experts". University of Bristol. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media/experts/jsp/public_view/expertDetails?personKey=m9ybfhBsFlLN7aLjr9a4QJwj9Xw13K. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Channel 4 – Time Team biography
  6. "Staff summaries". University of Bristol. 31 March 2009. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/anatomy/contact/staff/staffsummary.html. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Deacon, Michael (5 May 2009). "Interview: Alice Roberts on The Incredible Human Journey". Telegraph.co.uk. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/5279787/Interview-Alice-Roberts-on-The-Incredible-Human-Journey.html. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  8. "Research". www.alice-roberts.co.uk. http://www.alice-roberts.co.uk/research.html. Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  9. "University of Bristol: Contact Directory". http://www.bris.ac.uk/contact/person/getDetails?personKey=m9ybfhBsFlLN7aLjr9a4QJwj9Xw13K. Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  10. Time Team Live 2001
  11. 11.0 11.1 Coast – BBC website Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "bbc-site-experts" defined multiple times with different content
  12. BBC - Press Office - The BBC's Darwin Season press pack: BBC Two. 21 January 2009. Accessed 12 February 2009.
  13. Lam, Sophie (22 August 2009). "My Life In Travel: Dr Alice Roberts". www.independent.co.uk. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/my-life-in-travel-dr-alice-roberts-1775464.html. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  14. 'A Necessary Evil?' - BBC page
  15. Wild Swimming BBC site, retrieved 14 August 2010
  16. "Digging for Britain". BBC TV website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/digging-for-britain/. Retrieved 4 Aug 2010. 
  17. "Huge Roman coin find for hobbyist". BBC News. 8 July 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10549940. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  18. Roberts, Alice. "About Me". alice-roberts.co.uk. http://www.alice-roberts.co.uk/About_Me.html. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  19. Fowler, M., "Just Another Animal? - Dr Alice Roberts discovers how our ancestors colonised the planet." TV Choice magazine, 9–15 May 2009.
  20. Template:Cite interview
  21. "Professor Mick Aston". University of Bristol. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/archanth/staff/aston/. Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  22. Clicendales 2007 – University of Bristol

External links