SPEAKERS INCLUDED 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 genalogy 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. 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” (10,000+ global members). Affiliations: JGS of NM, Sandoval County (NM) Genealogical Society, Israel Genealogical Research Association, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, American Copy Editors Society. Publications: Family Tree Magazine, Avotaynu, NGS Quarterly, The Forward, JTA, etc.
Carol Isbister Rolnick earned her BS in Business from Purdue University. Bitten by the genealogy bug from an early age, Carol discovered an even greater passion for genetic genealogy beginning in the very early days of testing. The field satisfies her love of science, big data and an insatiable desire help others solve personal mysteries. In addition to her work with The DNA Detectives, Carol has an independent consulting company, Rolnick Research.
Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. She earned a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and a B.A. double major in Psychology and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biology (Biochemistry) at the University of California at SanDiego. Prior to attending law school, Barbara was an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where she taught Endocrinology and Biochemistry in the medical school and is the coauthor of several scientific papers in the field of cancer research. She has completed the four course Family History series offered by renowned genealogist Karen Clifford through Monterey Peninsula College.
Originally from New Zealand, Barbara has worked for about ten years on her own family history.Of special interest is researching her paternal grandmother’s ancestors who were subject to the Highland Clearances.This ancestry is difficult to research using traditional methodology, so Barbara set up the Normanites DNA Projecton FamilyTreeDNA for people whose ancestors or their relatives were followers of the Reverend Norman McLeod who led his flock,which included Barbara’s ancestors, from Sutherlandshire in the North of Scotland to Pictou and St.Ann’s in Nova Scotia, Canada and three decades later to Waipu, NewZealand. Barbara is a SearchAngel with DNAAdoption.com and also helps teach the autosomal DNA classes they offer to help adoptees use their DNA to find birth relatives. And as a volunteer withDNAadoption.com, Barbara volunteered her time to work on a project for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children Detail to identify, successfully, the immediate family of “Lisa”,a woman now in her 30s,who was abducted as a toddler and did not know either who she was or where she was from. Barbara is a volunteer with the Family History Center in Monterey, California and a frequent presenter on the use of DNA in Family History research.
Kathy Johnston, M.D.
Dr. Kathy Johnston, a retired dermatologist, has been engaged in genealogical research for over 25 years. She has been active in genetic genealogy since 2004, at which time she started collecting DNA samples from her aging parents in order to identify their Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA lines. She has had a special interest in the X chromosome since 2008 because of its unique pattern of inheritance and the richness of its ancestry informative markers. Kathy has been active in the DNA Interest Group of the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). As a volunteer, she helps genealogists understand their direct-to-consumer DNA test results. She is a volunteer administrator for several projects at Family Tree DNA. She was a volunteer at the very first “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” conference co-sponsored by SCGS and ISOGG and will be speaking at the same conference this year in Burbank, California on June 5, 2014. In September 2013, she along with other members of ISOGG, was invited to attend an historic ancestry inference roundtable discussion organized by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). In October, 2013 in Boston, she presented a scientific poster during the Ethical, Legal, Social and Policy Issues in Genetics Session at the ASHG 63rd Annual Meeting.
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.
Thomas earned his biotechnology engineering diploma from the Technical University Berlin, Germany in 1999 and has focused on DNA analysis since then. Thomas started up his own business and filed patents for DNA analysis instruments and provided the first Genealogy DNA tests in Europe. Family Tree DNA became aware of Thomas’ German business and acquired his company in 2006. Together with his wife Astrid he developed all Y chromosome tests that FTDNA offers today. While at FTDNA he made Y-SNP sequencing accessible for private researchers and started the “Walk Through the Y Project” as the first large scale Y chromosome sequencing assay. Thomas designed the Y-chromosome part of the Geno2 chip and the enrichment assay for the BigY test. In 2013 Thomas and Astrid left FTDNA and founded YSEQ, a genetic company that provides on demand Y chromosome testing. As the original discoverer of haplogroup A00 Thomas has recently visited Cameroon, and is actively supporting Bonnie Schrack’s A00 project.
Robin joined 23andMe in 2013 as a scientist on the Product team and is currently the Ancestry Product Lead. He’s made multiple contributions to product R&D – notably in the areas of Wellness, Traits, and Ancestry. Prior to 23andMe, Robin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF where he studied the 98 percent of the genome that doesn’t code for genes, so called DNA “dark matter”. Robin earned his PhD in neuroscience from The University of Miami.
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.
Janine Cloud started on the phones at Family Tree DNA in 2011 and moved up to Customer Support Manager, and now oversees the Group Projects team she built to specialize in group project issues. A grade-school assignment to fill out a pedigree chart ignited her passion for family history and genealogy. In fact, her Allison cousins were among the earliest group projects. Janine is a fifth-generation Texan and a registered member of the Cherokee Nation.