2017 i4GG SPEAKERS ARE SOME OF GENETIC GENEALOGY’S MOST NOTABLE TRAILBLAZERS AND SHARPEST MINDS INCLUDING:
CeCe Moore is the genetic genealogy consultant for the hit PBS television series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Her work has also been featured on 20/20, Genealogy Roadshow, Nightline, Good Morning America, Crime Watch Daily, Nancy Grace, CBS This Morning and The Doctors, as well as being quoted in many online and print publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Root and People Magazine. Her primary focus is promoting genetic genealogy education and sharing positive stories about the power of genetic genealogy through the media. CeCe is the founder of The DNA Detectives (including the largest genetic genealogy focused online forum, the DNA Detectives Facebook Page) and co-founder of the Institute for Genetic Genealogy (i4GG). Be sure to watch some of her most recognized news stories about her work with her company TheDNADetectives HERE.
Blaine Bettinger Ph.D. (biochemistry), J.D., is an intellectual property attorney, popular speaker on DNA topics, and author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist (www.thegeneticgenealogist.com). He has been interviewed on genealogical and personal genomics topics and quoted in Newsweek, New Scientist, Wired magazine, and others. Dr. Bettinger is the administrator of the Bettinger surname project and co-administrator for the R1b-L1/S26 Y-DNA haplogroup project. He frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry, and recently had his genome sequenced through the Personal Genome Project. He is the author of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the newest book in the National Genealogical Society’s Special Topic Series. GGP will be available for purchase in mid-summer 2016.
Kitty Munson Cooper is well-known blogger on genetics and genealogy. She started her blog in 2012 to keep track of her DNA and genealogy research. It includes numerous basic pictorial tutorials and several useful graphing tools she wrote. The blog currently receives several thousand unique visitors a day and earned Kitty tenth place on the rockstar genetic genealogists list in 2015.
A genealogist and journalist, Schelly is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com. She has tracked her families for three decades across Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Spain and Iran. An early proponent of genetic genealogy, she is co-administrator of the IberianAshkenaz DNA Project, confirming Sephardic origins of some Ashkenazi families, and of the new Persian Jewish DNA Project. The former genealogy columnist (Jerusalem Post: “It’s All Relative”) created the award-winning “Tracing the Tribe – The Jewish Genealogy Blog” in 2006, and founded “Tracing the Tribe – Jewish Genealogy on Facebook” (17,500+ global members). Affiliations: JGS of NM, Israel Genealogical Research Association, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. Publications: Family Tree Magazine, Avotaynu, NGS Quarterly, The Forward, JTA, etc.
Carol Isbister Rolnick is a Genetic Genealogy consultant, and leading researcher in the genetic genealogy community, specializing in the use of DNA to identify unknown family. Carol has helped many adoptees and others of unknown parentage to find their biological family, including the widely publicized case of Paul Fronczak, who published his story in a highly acclaimed book “The Foundling.” Carol specializes in autosomal DNA research to solve unknown paternity, adoption, foundlings, and recent unknown ancestry. She also has a keen interest in the overlap of medical genetics with genealogy, managing projects for rare inherited diseases to identify family who are potential carriers to reduce risk and expedite treatment and support. Carol is a frequent presenter at both genealogical societies and adoptee groups and also co-administers the Rolnick Y-DNA Surname Study. Learn more about her work at http://www.RolnickResearch.com.
Angie Bush, MS is the Region 1 Director for the National Genealogical Society and chair of its genetic genealogy committee. She’s also a full-time senior genealogist researcher with AncestryProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. Angie works with a team of approximately 16 other researchers focused on helping adoptees and others with recent unknown parentage to identify their biological family members. She also leads internal training regarding DNA for all of the genealogists at Ancestry ProGenealogists.
Lara Diamond has been researching her family for 25 years, starting as a middle school student. She has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. And she is an Ashkenazic Jew, she gets to have particular fun with her completely endogamous genome. She is president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland, leads JewishGen’s Subcarpathian SIG, is on JewishGen’s Ukraine SIG’s board of directors. She also runs multiple district- and town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns. She blogs about DNA and her Eastern European research at http://larasgenealogy.blogspot
Michelle Trostler holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from USC and is a PhD candidate at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Previously Michelle was a database marketer, specializing in emails and combining data from disparate sources to accomplish a marketing goal. This experience has proven to be a great background for the challenges of genetic genealogy and the mounds of data that are needed to break through brick walls. In addition to her work with The DNA Detectives, Michelle has an independent consulting company, identify family.com.
Kathleen Fernandes earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University and worked as a systems analyst in designing IT systems for the Department of Defense. Since retiring ten years ago, she has been actively pursuing her Portuguese roots and became interested in genetic genealogy as a way to break through the brick walls she encountered in her research. She is particularly interested in tools and techniques for analyzing DNA data in endogamous populations. She has completed several genetic genealogy courses and has begun giving presentations on the topic to local genealogy groups.
Katherine Borges is the Co-Founder and Director of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), which promotes and educates about genetic genealogy to over 10,000 members in over 70 countries. She works to increase professional standards in the practice, research, and discussion of relevant issues in DNA testing, interpretation, and ethics. Katherine gives many presentations on genetic genealogy to groups across the United States, the United Kingdom and in Ireland. Katherine is past-Regent Turlock Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and currently serves as Chaplain and is Past-President of Captain James Davis Chapter, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century. She has been married to her high-school sweetheart, Vince, for 25 years and they have two children, Joshua and Michaela.
Rob Warthen is the creator of DNA Development tools DNAGedcom and one of the founders of DNAAdoption. He has always had a love of genealogy, but was driven to create tools for those working through brick walls back in 2010. He did this to help his wife find her biological parents. Using the tools he developed, he was one of the first ones to find a birth parent using only 4th cousin matches back in 2014. All through that time, he continues to create and update tools to make breaking through brick walls easier.
Leah Larkin holds a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in botany from The University of Texas at Austin, where she studied species relationships using DNA. She is a professional scientific editor as well as a genetic genealogist who finds great joy in reuniting families separated by adoption or other unknown parentage. As a Cajun from Louisiana, she is also actively researching best practices for the genetic genealogy of endogamous groups. Leah recently assumed the editorship of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, which will resume publishing this fall.
Oron is a Senior Scientist on the MyHeritage DNA team, with a mixed engineering and research background. He holds an M.Sc. in Bioinformatics from Tel Aviv University, where his research focused on statistical and computational methods for research of complex disease. Prior to joining MyHeritage, Oron worked at Microsoft on digital AI assistant Cortana, developing large data pipelines and distributed online services.
Jim Brewster holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology with an emphasis in North American prehistory and archaeology from Northern Arizona University. He interned as an archaeologist before realizing that conversations with skeletons tend to be one-sided. Jim is the genealogist for his family and has taught classes in both paper trail and genetic genealogy. He has had a lifelong passion for understanding the history of the human family in anthropological, epistemological, and genealogical terms. Shortly after graduating, Jim discovered Family Tree DNA and realized a way to turn his passion for understanding into an exciting career. Starting in customer service, he has been employed with Family Tree DNA for over three years and now works as Assistant Manager for the Group Projects Team. Jim works with project administrators as well as attending conferences and events where he enjoys sharing his passion with others and educating people about genealogy.
Ben Wilson, Ph.D. is a population geneticist at AncestryDNA, LLC. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University. Prior to joining Ancestry in January 2017, Ben did postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona studying the evolution of new genes. During his Ph.D. at Stanford University, he developed mathematical models for understanding the genetic signatures associated with the evolution of drug resistance in pathogens.
Hilary has helped manage 23andMe’s Ancestry product since she joined the team in 2016. Prior to 23andMe, Hilary was an Associate Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied the immune response to malaria. Hilary earned her B.S. in Biology from Stanford University.
Katie Welka is a Product Specialist at Living DNA, combining her technology and UX background with her passion for genealogy to bring exciting new customer-centric research features to users around the world. She holds a BA in Design & Interactivity and is currently enrolled in the Genealogical Research Program at Boston University. As an active member of the California Genealogical Society, she co-founded the Bay Area Young Genealogists group, volunteers on the Educational Committee, and provides a unique teaching perspective on utilizing today’s technology for family research. Katie’s work has also been featured on the NextGen Genealogy Network.