Presentations

Is your group interested in learning more about DNA testing and how it can be used in your genealogical research?  Or are you curious about the intersection of genetics and history?  I have lectured many times all over the United States to groups of all different sizes, and would love to speak to your group.  Below is a sampling of the lectures I provide, organized from the most basic to the most advanced.  Each lecture is a stand-alone talk, but they can be combined together for a full-day workshop.

Basic Courses:

  • Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to Explore Your Ancestry – Y-DNA and mtDNA testing are the workhorses of genetic genealogy, and have helped genealogists break through thousands of stubborn brick walls.  Learn about the unique inheritance of Y-DNA and mtDNA in your family, how these tests can be used to explore your ancient ancestry, and how the results can identify your relatives both close and distant.
  • Introduction to DNA – In addition to learning about Y-DNA and mtDNA, we’ll learn about the newest tool available to genealogists, autosomal DNA.  Genealogists can use these tools together with traditional research to explore their ancient ancestry, find genetic relatives, and break through brick walls.
  • Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry – For years, genealogists have focused on Y-DNA and mtDNA, unable to access the wealth of information in the remainder of their DNA.  At long last, new autosomal DNA tests reveal this hidden information.  Genealogists can use autosomal DNA for ethnicity estimates, finding long-lost cousins, and examining specific genealogical problems, including adoption.
  • The Genetic Genealogy Scam – Many genealogists continue to believe that genetic genealogy is a scam, a scheme run by charlatains out to make a quick dollar. Together we’ll examine some of the sources of these beliefs, the true benefits and limitations of DNA testing, and ways to share information about DNA that minimize confusion.

Intermediate Courses:

  • Using Free Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA –  Although DNA testing companies provide their own analysis of test results, there are free third-party tools that allow test-takers to learn even more about their genomic heritage, including admixture calculators and the identification of genetic cousins.  Together we’ll explore some of these tools and learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  • DNA and the Family Cover-up – Although DNA has solved innumerable family mysteries, it has also revealed many long-hidden and forgotten family secrets. Together we’ll examine this new phenomenon, including some of the ethical issues associated with sharing this information with family members and clients.
  • Begging for Spit – One of the biggest challenges facing genealogists is asking family members and non-genealogists to undergo DNA testing. Together we’ll examine novel and interactive ways to encourage participation by making these individuals stakeholders in DNA testing.

Advanced Presentations:

  • Phasing and Mapping Your DNA – “Phasing” is the process of identifying what DNA you inherited from your mother, and what DNA you inherited from your father.  Learn how to phase your DNA results, and how you can use that phased DNA to “map” segments of your DNA to specific ancestors.  Genealogists are using this process to map significant portions of their genome to their genealogical family tree.
  • The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy – Although the future of genetic genealogy is not now, it will be very soon! Learn about how companies are using DNA and genealogies to reconstruct the genomes of ancestors.  We’ll also learn how that information might be used in the future, including to create entire or partial family trees based solely on DNA test results! We will also examine how these recreated genomes might be used to generate the faces and health of ancestors who have been dead for hundreds of years.

Recent and Upcoming Presentations:

  • “Practical Genetic Genealogy” – Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) (August 2014) (with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL and CeCe Moore)
  • “Introduction to DNA Testing” – Genealogy & Local History at Ogden Farmers’ Library (15 Apr. 2014)
  • “Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry” – Rochester Genealogical Society (13 Mar. 2014)
  • “Begging for Spit” – Rootstech 2014 (Feb. 2014)
  • “Explore your Ancestry Using DNA” – Capital District Genealogical Society (25 Jan. 2014)
  • “Using DNA to Explore Your Ancestry” – Western New York Genealogical Society (16 Nov. 2013)
  • “Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry” – New York Family History Conference (21 Sept. 2013)
  • “Using DNA to Explore Your Ancestry” Second Annual African American Genealogy Conference, Rochester, NY – (2 June 2013)
  • “Intro to DNA Crash Course” – Family Tree University Webinar (25 Apr. 2013)
  • “Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA Results” – Southern California Genealogy Jamboree DNA Day (6 June 2013)
  • “Explore Your Ancestry Using DNA” – Capital District Genealogical Society (26 Jan. 2013)
  • “Using DNA to Explore Your Genealogy” and “How Autosomal DNA is Changing Genealogy” – Central New York Genealogical Society (15 Sept. 2012)
  • “Using DNA to Explore Your Ancestry”- Rochester Genealogical Society (15 Mar. 2012)
  • “Using Genetic Genealogy to Explore Your Ancestry” – Western New York Genealogical Society (19 May 2012)
  • “Autosomal DNA Testing” – Rochester Genealogical Society (8 Sept. 2011)
  • “How Autosomal DNA Testing is Changing Genealogy” – New England Regional Genealogical Conference (9 Apr. 2011)
  • “Using DNA to Discover Your Roots” – Local History and Genealogy Division of the Rochester Public Library (16 Oct. 2010)
  • “Update on DNA Genealogy” – Rochester Genealogical Society (10 June 2010)
  • “Using DNA to Explore your Ancestry” – Central New York Genealogical Society – (9 May 2009)
  • “Using DNA to Explore Your Ancestry” – Montville Township Public Library, Montville, NJ (14 Mar. 2009)

 

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