Saturday, 7 October 2017

Hannes Schroeder - Speaker Profile

Title of Presentation:
Back to the Roots: Searching for Origins and Ancestral Ties in the context of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Hannes Schroeder is Assistant Professor in Ancient Genomics at the University of Copenhagen. He has a PhD from the University of Oxford (2009) and he now leads his own research group at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. His research interests center mainly around archaeology and ancient human DNA. He is also interested in how genomic data are currently being used to shape public understandings of the past. Alongside Prof Gisli Palsson, Prof Daniel Bradley and others he is one of the PIs of the CitiGen project (, which looks at the societal uses of genomic data, and between 2011-2015 he led a large European-funded Marie Curie training network on the history and contemporary legacies of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (, which is what he will talk about at BTOP. 

So what exactly will he be talking about?
The transatlantic slave trade was one of the largest forced migrations of people in human history. Between roughly 1500 and 1850 more than 12 million Africans were enslaved and forcefully transported to the Americas. Historical sources reveal that the vast majority were shipped from West and West-Central Africa, but their precise origins remain largely unknown. Genome-wide analyses provide a powerful tool for tracing the genetic origins of individuals and in his talk Hannes will show us how modern and ancient DNA analyses can be used to shed light on the ancestral origins of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas. The title of his talk is "Back to the roots: Searching for origins and ancestral ties in the context of the Transatlantic Slave Trade".

This year, the four lectures on Friday afternoon (including Hannes' lecture) were made possible by the kind support of CITIGEN, a HERA Project. CITIGEN is an international collaborative research project that looks at the uses of modern and ancient genomic data in shaping public understandings of the past and our individual and collective identities. 

What DNA tests will be discussed?
Mainly genome-wide SNP data.

Involvement with genetic genealogy?
Hannes is on the scientific advisory board of LivingDNA ( and he is one of the PIs of the CitiGen project (, which also looks at the science and business of DNA ancestry testing.

Where can people get more information?
Research group website:
Personal website:
Twitter account:
Research papers:
CitiGen Project website:
Eurotast project website:

These lectures are sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy).

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