Lale Yalçin-Heckmann was born in Istanbul, educated in Istanbul in sociology and then anthropology at the University of London (PhD 1986). Since 1988 she has been living in Germany and had worked at the universities in Bamberg, Erlangen, Free University in Berlin, teaching and carrying out research projects. From 2000 to 2009 she was a senior researcher and head of research group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. Since October 2010 she is a Dozent at the University of Pardubice and temporary professor of anthropology at the University of Halle. Since 2014 she is the coordinator and part-time researcher of an ERC project (REALEURASIA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/S., Germany. Her research interests range from Kurds in Turkey, migration to Europe and in the former Soviet Union, Islam, tribal structures and political systems, postsocialism, rural economy and informal economy in Azerbaijan, and economic anthropology.
She is the author, co-author or co-editor of the following books:
Tribe and Kinship among the Kurds, Frankfurt/M.,1991;
Die Kurden. Geschichte, Politik, Kultur: Munich, 2000, together with M. Strohmeier;
Caucasus Paradigms: Anthropologies, histories and the making of a world area, edited with Bruce Grant, Berlin, 2007;
The Return of Private Property: Rural Life after Agrarian Reform in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Berlin, 2010.