5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators

On March 14th and 15th of this year, Family Tree DNA hosted the 5th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy.  From the press release (pdf):

Each year, world renowned experts in genetics and science present cutting-edge developments and exciting new applications at this two-day educational forum which draws attendees from Family Tree DNA’s Group Administrators in North America and throughout the world. Among the speakers at the upcoming conference will be Dr. Spencer Wells, the director and population geneticist heading the National Geographic’s landmark Genographic Project as well as members of Family Tree DNA’s own highly respected scientific advisory board.

The schedule of the conference can be found here.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the conference this year, although I certainly hope to attend the next conference. 

Speakers

There were a number of interesting speakers, including the following:

Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project – Spencer Wells  (I was lucky enough to see Dr. Wells speak recently).
Privacy & Ethics of DNA Testing – Ricki Lewis (I’m not 100% sure, but I believe I took organic chemistry with Ms. Lewis’ husband during college).
Lessons Learned from Running a Large Surname Project – Bob McLaren
Advances in mtDNA – Doron Behar & William Hurst
Advances in TMRCA – Michael Hammer
A Walk Through the Y Update & NULL Alleles – Thomas Krahn
Updates to the Y-Chromosome Tree – Michael Hammer

Live Blogging

Thanks to Vincent Vizachero (twitter account vineviz), genetic genealogy has entered the world of live blogging via Twitter.  Vincent graciously tweeted throughout the conference, allowing those of use who didn’t attend to get live updates throughout the weekend.  It was a great experiment, one that many people appreciated.

Other News From the Conference

Following the conference, a few attendees have written about their experiences.  Emily Aulicino has written an interesting and detailed summary – with pictures – of the conference at “5th Annual Internatonal Family Tree DNA Conference 2009”.  Stephen Danko has written a series of posts about the conference, including “Back Home from the FTDNA Genetic Genealogy Conference,” “Privacy, Ethics, and DTC Legislation in DNA Testing,” “Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor,” and “Lessons from a Large DNA Project.”  And last but not least, Jim Simms wrote a summary of the conference at “A few highlights: 5th Annual Family Tree DNA Admin Conference.”

Thank you all for sharing this information with those of us that were unable to attend.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007