Tanja Heinz

Tanja Heinz


Position: Marie Curie Fellow

ESR5: Charting the ancestry of African Americans
Supervision:  Prof. Antonio Salas
Host Institution:  Faculty of Legal Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela

About me:

I am a trained biologist working in the field genetics. In my early studies I was mainly focused on ecology but developed an interest in genetics during my postgraduate research on kinship and mating systems of animals such as the rhesus macaque and the edible dormouse. This training has led me to working with diverse human populations. I am interested in investigating the Transatlantic Slave Trade with EUROTAST, as I believe there are still many stories to be revealed about how humanity was violated in the past, and its biological consequences in the present day. For example, during my first research project for my PhD, I will be focused on an Afro-Bolivian community called the Tocaña. Since Afro-Bolivian communities are located in such remote places, and their numbers are low compared to other places linked to the history of slavery, the Tocaña people and other Afro-Bolivian communities have largely been forgotten or ignored. Thus, I hope that my research will raise awareness and understanding about these communities – not only within Bolivia itself but also within the research field of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.