Friday, 4 March 2016

The DNA lecture schedule for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2016

I am pleased to announce the DNA lecture schedule for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2016. I know lots of you have been eagerly awaiting to learn about the line up so that you can make your travel plans so the organisers have kindly given me permission to post the schedule in advance on my blog. It should be up on the main Who Do You Think You Are? Live website very soon. The DNA lectures have been organised by ISOGG - the International Society of Genetic Genealogy - in collaboration with the Featured Partner Family Tree DNA.

The timetable is provided below together with the speakers' biographies and summaries of their talks. Three of the lectures will take place in SOG Theatre 2. The remaining DNA lectures will take place in the DNA Theatre. The three lectures in the SOG Theatre can be booked in advance via the WDYTYA Live website. The Theatre 2 timetable should be updated next Monday to reflect the revised schedule (three talks from Theatre 2 are being moved into Theatre 1) so if you want to book one of these talks you'll need to wait until next week.

We have a great line-up speakers so get your tickets booked to come and see us in Birmingham now!




Thursday 7th April 9.30 – 5.30pm
Friday 8th April 9.30 – 5.30pm
Saturday 9th April 9.30 – 5.30pm
10.15
Which DNA test is best for you?
Maurice Gleeson
DNA demystified – a beginner’s guide to genetic genealogy
Debbie Kennett
The abc of DNA: DNA testing for absolute beginners
Linda Kerr
11.15
Unleashing the genome: how we read the book of life
Scott Brouilette, Illumina
Autosomal DNA – how to use it in practice
Maurice Gleeson
Understanding autosomal DNA testing – the pleasures and the pitfalls
Debbie Kennett
12.15
Inferring human history using DNA
Garrett Hellenthal,
UCL
SOG Theatre 2
Genetic genealogy – the past, the present and the future
Bennett Greenspan, Family Tree DNA
SOG Theatre 2
Discovering Richard III
Turi King, University of Leicester
13.15
SOG Theatre 2
Finding family with DNA testing: a genetic detective story
Richard Hill
Who’s your cousin? Using DNA to determine relatedness
Doug Speed, UCL
Using SNP testing and STRs to enhance a genetic genealogy research project
John Cleary
14.15
Fathers and sons, the next generation:
the Y-chromosome in the genome sequencing era
Professor Mark Jobling,
University of Leicester
Did DNA really prove it was Richard III’s skeleton in the Leicester car park?
John Reid

Irish migration to Liverpool and surrounding regions in NW England
Cathy Swift, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick
15.15
Getting the most from autosomal DNA
Emily Aulicino
Results of the Irish DNA Atlas Project
Ed Gilbert, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Achieving the impossible
Finding Arthur and tracing UK foundlings
Julia Bell
16.15
Scottish DNA – clans, families and surnames
Alasdair Macdonald
Lessons from a large Y-DNA Project
James Irvine

Genetic genealogy in the 21st century: what it can do for you and what you can do for science
Katherine Borges


THURSDAY 7th APRIL

Which DNA test is best for you?

10.15
Maurice will give a detailed description of the three main types of DNA test, illustrated with examples of how they can be applied in practice. This presentation covers questions such as: how can Y-DNA help research your surname? How did mtDNA help identify Richard III? How can autosomal DNA put you in touch with family you never knew existed? At the end of this presentation you should be well placed to decide for yourself which test might be best to help you answer the questions you have relating to your own family tree research.

Maurice Gleeson
Maurice Gleeson, a psychiatrist and pharmaceutical physician by day and a genetic genealogist by night, is administrator for the Gleason/Gleeson, Spearin, Farrell, Irish Caribbean DNA and WW1 Missing Legacy projects. He has helped organise the DNA Lectures for "Genetic Genealogy Ireland" in Dublin and "Who Do You Think You Are" in the UK since 2012, as well as given talks all over Ireland and internationally. His YouTube videos on genetic genealogy are very popular and he was voted "Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015” by the SurnameDNA Journal.

Unleashing the genome: how we read the book of life

11.15
Genetics and genomics are complex, specialised topics but are increasingly of interest to the general public. At one end of the spectrum low resolution tests can reveal association with disease and provide information on ancestry, whilst at the high resolution end have the potential to identify causative (and potentially actionable) mutations that predispose to disease. This session will take a look at the history of genetic analysis and give an overview of the different methodologies available before focusing on the broad range of applications available using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The session will close by discussing the future of sequencing and genetic analysis.

Scott Brouilette
Scott Brouilette gained a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Leicester and spent several years in academia studying the role of biological ageing in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. In 2011 Scott moved into the commercial sector, working in customer training and support for a leading data analysis company before joining Illumina in early 2013. Scott currently holds a senior position within Illumina’s European Regional Marketing team.

Inferring human history using DNA

12.15
Using specially created software it is now possible to pinpoint times in the past when worldwide and local populations have intermixed due to invasions, migrations and other interactions. This lecture will discuss how these techniques have helped to quantify the genetic impact of known empires and trade routes throughout history, determining which conquests and voyages have left the greatest residue in our DNA today.

Garrett Hellenthal
Garrett Hellenthal is a statistical geneticist at University College London, whose primary work involves identifying the factors that contribute to the genetic variation among worldwide human groups.

Finding Family with DNA testing: a genetic detective story

13.15 This lecture will take place in SOG Theatre 2
Richard Hill discovered the power of DNA in the course of a decades-long search for his lost family. He will introduce us to several forms of DNA testing as he shares the fascinating story of his personal odyssey.

The presentation will include images from his DNA accounts at Family Tree DNA, Ancestry.com, and 23andMe. This will help new testers understand what their results might look like and how to use them.

He will also introduce us to some important third-party web sites that can make the process of finding family more efficient and effective.

Richard Hill
Richard Hill is the author of two books on DNA testing. Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA is an award-winning personal memoir that follows his decades long search for his birth parents.

Hill's Kindle Short Book, Guide to DNA Testing, gives readers just enough information to choose the right DNA tests for their purposes.

He also authors the web site, DNA-Testing-Adviser.com, writes articles for Adoption Today magazine and gives presentations on genetic genealogy.

Richard is a member of Toastmasters International, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the American Adoption Congress and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

Fathers and sons, the next generation:
the Y-chromosome in the genome sequencing era

14.15
Y chromosomes can be differentiated using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), binary DNA markers that change very slowly between generations and define haplogroups. The first Y-SNPs were discovered in the 1990s, and by 2008 about 600 were described. In the last 8 years, however, the technological revolution of next-generation sequencing has led to an explosion of Y-SNPs – the latest tree from the 1000 Genomes Project contains over 60,000. In such trees, almost all Y chromosomes are unique. These rich data allow association of haplogroups with surnames, inform about male population histories, and can be combined with data from ancient human Y chromosomes. Customers of DNA testing companies are also contributing to the wealth of Y variation.

Mark Jobling
Mark Jobling studied Biochemistry and completed a DPhil in Genetics at the University of Oxford. He moved to the University of Leicester in 1992 where he has been supported by Wellcome Trust fellowships and is now a Professor. His group uses human genetic diversity to investigate processes of colonisation, migration and admixture, and (with a focus on the Y chromosome) to study mutation processes. He also applies Y-chromosomal markers to understanding the relationships between Y types and patrilineal surnames, and in forensic analysis.

Getting the most from autosomal DNA

15.15
Connecting with unknown family, finding cousins with whom you can research, and discovering which ancestors provided your DNA are rewarding aspects of autosomal testing which can lead to genealogical success. This test can be helpful for adoptees. This presentation will cover the basics of autosomal DNA and how it is inherited, provide many great suggestions on what to do while waiting for the results, show you how to organize your data, and offer ideas on contacting your matches. It is time to get the most out of your autosomal DNA test to maximize the opportunities in finding your common ancestor.

Emily D. Aulicino
Emily D. Aulicino, BS in History, MED (Master’s in Education); Speaker and Regional Coordinator for the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG); Administrator of the Ogan One-Name Study; Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Genealogical Council of Oregon (GCO); Genealogical Forum of Oregon (GFO)

Emily, a genealogist since 1970, has given DNA presentations since 2005 throughout the U.S. to a variety of groups including Jewish Genealogical societies, African American groups, a Mexican genealogical society, The Irish Cultural Society, a Welsh gathering, and various lineage groups as well as at WDYTYA in London and Birmingham and BTOP in Dublin. She was interviewed for various newspapers, television, and blog talk radio shows. Besides her blogs, her writing appeared in Irish Roots Magazine, and her book Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond was published in 2014. She manages eleven DNA projects and two DNA Interest Groups at her local society.

Scottish DNA projects and how to make sense
of your Y-DNA results

16.15
This talk will explore the benefits of participation in geographical and surname projects, and include insight into research findings into a variety of Scottish surnames and clans. Ideal for those who wish to understand how Y-DNA can be used to extend genealogical research, the talk will also be of interest to those who have already taken a test. The limitations of certain tests and the dangers of over-interpretation of results will be highlighted, together with methods to add robustness and confidence of linkage between test matches.

Alasdair F Macdonald
Alasdair has been involved in family history research since his late teens and has a particular interest in the Scottish Highlands. He completed his MSc on Scottish baronies in 2011 and is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde. His research interests focus on the use of DNA in genealogical research and he is currently researching the origin and linkage of male lineages in the British Isles using Y-chromosomal DNA. He also specializes in Scottish land records and palaeography. Alasdair is one of the administrators of the Scottish DNA Project and the Flemish in Scotland DNA Project.

FRIDAY 8th APRIL 

DNA demystified – a beginner’s guide to genetic genealogy


10.15
DNA testing is an essential tool for the family historian and has the potential to provide answers which can’t be found from the paper trail alone. The large genetic genealogy databases are helping to reunite long lost cousins and break down long-standing brick walls. Debbie will guide you through the genetic genealogy jungle and help you to understand how the different tests work, and what they can and can’t tell you.

Debbie Kennett
Debbie is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. She is a member of ISOGG and the co-founder of the ISOGG Wiki. She is the administrator of the Cruwys/Cruse/Cruise DNA Project, the Devon DNA Project and the mtDNA Haplogroup U4 Project. She has written two books for the History Press: DNA and Social Networking (2011) and The Surnames Handbook (2012). Her popular blog Cruwys News was originally set up to publish findings from her one-name study but is now focused on keeping up with all the latest developments from the world of genetic genealogy.

Autosomal DNA – how to use it in practice

11.15
Autosomal DNA (atDNA) testing examines over 700,000 DNA markers on your chromosomes and allows you to compare your DNA with that of other people. If you are genetically related, you come up as a match to each other. There are now more than 3 million people in the various databases and this is helping people to reconnect with long lost cousins, many of whom have genealogical evidence that is helping other people break through their Brick Walls. This presentation looks at how you can use atDNA in your own family tree research, how to interpret your results, and how to use them to best effect.

Maurice Gleeson
Maurice Gleeson, a psychiatrist and pharmaceutical physician by day and a genetic genealogist by night, is administrator for the Gleason/Gleeson, Spearin, Farrell, Irish Caribbean DNA and WW1 Missing Legacy projects. He has helped organise the DNA Lectures for "Genetic Genealogy Ireland" in Dublin and "Who Do You Think You Are" in the UK since 2012, as well as given talks all over Ireland and internationally. His YouTube videos on genetic genealogy are very popular and he was voted "Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015” by the SurnameDNA Journal.

Genetic genealogy – the past, the present and the future

12.15 This talk will take place in SOG Theatre 2
Once upon a time, the idea of using DNA to solve genealogical mysteries seemed like science fiction. Now it has become a reality. Bennett Greenspan will describe how he got started in genetic genealogy and how the market has evolved in the last fifteen years. Y-DNA and mtDNA have moved on to the next generation, and autosomal and X-DNA have become powerful tools in many genealogists’ tool kits.

Bennett Greenspan
Nebraska native Bennett Greenspan caught the genealogy bug early, completing his first family tree at around age 12. He graduated from the University of Texas where he studied political science. His early businesses included photo-imaging/industrial photography and commercial real estate.

Greenspan’s attempts to prove a genealogical theory prompted him to contact Dr. Michael Hammer at the University of Arizona. Greenspan convinced Dr. Hammer to use a Y-DNA test for genealogy; when the test proved his theory, he decided to start a company to take DNA testing direct to consumers, giving birth to both Family Tree DNA and a new industry.

Who’s your cousin? Using DNA to determine relatedness

13.15
In this talk Doug Speed will explain what it means for individuals to be related, and how given DNA we can now measure relatedness precisely

Doug Speed
Doug Speed is a Research Fellow at University College London, who works on developing statistical methods to improve our understanding of complex diseases.

Did DNA prove it was Richard III's skeleton
in the Leicester car park?

14.15
Would identification of "The King in the Car Park" have been possible before DNA analysis sufficient to justify the majesty of burial in Leicester Cathedral? The presentation will take another look at the DNA and other physical evidence from the skeleton used by the University of Leicester team, the likelihood ratio technique employed to reach the conclusion and its wider value in genealogical proof.

John D. Reid
John D. Reid is a Canadian genealogist, born in Norfolk, a graduate of the University of Leicester. As a former environmental researcher he brings a scientist's perspective to family history. He is a member of ISOGG, the Society of Genealogists, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and has given numerous talks and published articles on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Results of the Irish DNA Atlas Project

15.15
The Irish DNA Atlas is a DNA cohort of individuals with Irish ancestry. Participants must have all eight of their great-grandparents born within a specific region, usually 30-50 km. This way each participant is representative of the genetic diversity found in specific regions of Ireland, and therefore can be used to investigate fine scale population structure within Ireland. The talk will give some background and context of population genetics work, as well as some examples of “fine scale population structure” that can be resolved using genetic methods. Ed will then discuss some of the preliminary findings of the Irish DNA Atlas, fine scale population structure of Ireland, and the features of Irish structure in the context of neighbouring European countries.

Edmund Gilbert
Edmund is working towards a PhD at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the focus of which is population structure within Ireland. His work is primarily based on the Irish DNA Atlas, but is also involved in genetic analysis work of population isolates within Ireland. Edmund has previously graduated from the University of Nottingham, studying Biochemistry and Genetics. After graduating he worked for the LGC DNA forensics laboratory. He is really enjoying the details of working on the Irish DNA Atlas, both from the computational standpoint, and from the ties it has with the histories and genealogies of the pedigrees. Ed can recognize almost all of the Irish Counties by now.

Lessons from a large Y-DNA project

16.15
As administrator of the Clan Irwin Surname DNA Study James has steered its international membership to over 400. Supposedly a single source surname, the project has identified over 30 genetic families that share the surname in its various spellings but are unrelated to one another during the surname era. The largest of these families now has over 260 members, of which 14 have BigY test results. The talk will address many lessons arising from this large database that may not be apparent to smaller surname projects but are nevertheless probably relevant.

James Irvine
James Irvine has been an amateur genealogist since the 1950s. Brought up in Ulster, his genealogical research has focused on his Scottish paternal ancestry. Since retiring in Surrey in 2000 from a career in the shipping industry he has written, edited and published several books including Trace Your Orkney Ancestors. He co-founded the Clan Irwin Surname DNA Study in 2005 and has written for the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, lectured on YDNA in Cheltenham, Glasgow, Dublin and Houston, and attended WDYTYA Live since 2012.

SATURDAY 9th APRIL

The abc of DNA: DNA testing for absolute beginners

10.15
Thinking of taking a DNA test but not sure what it will tell you about your roots – or what test to take? Come and learn the basics with Linda Kerr.

Linda Kerr
Linda is a professional genealogist specialising in Scottish family history research, especially for those whose ancestors come from the west of Scotland. She has explored DNA testing for her own family history and will share some of what she learned along the way. She is now a volunteer for the Scottish DNA project. 

Understanding autosomal DNA testing – 
the pleasures and the pitfalls

11.15
An autosomal DNA test will give you matches with your genetic cousins on all your ancestral lines. The massive and ever-expanding databases now provide the potential to solve longstanding mysteries, and to reunite long-lost family members. However, it is important to understand how the tests work so that the results can be interpreted responsibly. Debbie will explain the basics of autosomal DNA testing, and offer strategies to help you get the best out of your test results. What do those ethnicity percentages really mean? How do you know which matches are valid? What is triangulation? And what tools and resources are available to help you?

Debbie Kennett
Debbie is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. She is a member of ISOGG and the co-founder of the ISOGG Wiki. She is the administrator of the Cruwys/Cruse/Cruise DNA Project, the Devon DNA Project and the mtDNA Haplogroup U4 Project. She has written two books for the History Press: DNA and Social Networking (2011) and The Surnames Handbook (2012). Her popular blog Cruwys News was originally set up to publish findings from her one-name study but is now focused on keeping up with all the latest developments from the world of genetic genealogy.

Discovering Richard III

12.15 This talk will place in SOG Theatre 2
Turi King will tell the story of the research project undertaken at the University of Leicester to discover the burial place of Richard III and the related work to scientifically identify the skeletal remains which were discovered. The lecture will outline the underlying archaeological work leading up to the discovery of the skeletal remains, the DNA analysis and genealogical research carried out in parallel to help identify the skeleton, and the statistical analysis of the evidence.

Turi King
Dr. Turi King is a Lecturer in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester. She led the DNA analysis in the Richard III identification project and is now leading a follow up project to sequence Richard III’s whole genome. Turi is also a Research Fellow and Project Manager on a project which is investigating 'The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain'.

Using SNP testing and STRs to enhance
a genetic genealogy research project

13.15
Genealogists using DNA testing have become familiar with the STR tests on the Y chromosome, but may be less comfortable with SNP (point mutation) testing. This talk will review the three main types of SNP test available to the family history researcher – sequence testing, like the Big Y; individual SNP testing; and SNP panel tests – and which is best for which kind of question. We will discuss how using SNPs in tandem with STRs enhances the power of both, using examples from recent research into surnames and older ancestral lineages. We will also consider the limits to SNP-based research, and how using them may develop in the future.

John Cleary
John is a lecturer at a university in Edinburgh and a member of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy). He gives talks on using DNA in family history research in Scotland, and is interested in how genetic genealogy can help to understand the origins and spread of surnames. He is involved in a project researching the fate of Scottish prisoners captured by Cromwell in the Civil War and transported to the Americas, working with the Prisoners’ descendants using DNA and genealogy to discover more about their fate.

Irish migration to Liverpool and surrounding regions
in north-west England

14.15
Liverpool is justly famous in Irish tradition as the British imperial port from which many Irish migrants sailed to the New World during the nineteenth century. What is less well known is that the city was originally founded by King John to facilitate transport to Ireland in the context of developing the Angevin colonies of Ireland in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries. (Earlier Irish connections with NW England had gone through Chester before the silting of the River Dee made that port less accessible.) Using the British surname atlas as well as surname material gathered from Irish medieval sources, this lecture attempts to differentiate between migrations of the nineteenth century and the medieval period and seeks to establish just how far back we can trace the phenomenon of Irish emigration to England. Genetic genealogists in the region have done much valuable research in tracing the Scandinavian background of much of the population of the north-west. Historical sources indicate that that settlement was greatly influenced by a secondary colonisation of Vikings who had settled in Ireland; it remains to be determined whether genetically ethnic Irish settlers formed part of such movements.

Cathy Swift
Cathy runs the Irish Studies teaching programme in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She has an MPhil in Archaeology from the University of Durham and a second MPhil in Old-Irish Language and Culture from Trinity College Dublin. Her DPhil at Oxford examined the history of the cult of St Patrick. She has taught in many universities, served ten years as organising Secretary of the Irish Conference of Mediaevalists, and runs summer schools in Old Irish in Limerick when she is not off gallivanting across Europe with her pilgrim staff, knapsack and tent.

Achieving the impossible

15.15
Julia Bell will tell the story of her successful search for her WW2 American GI grandfather, Arthur Benager Garrett. She will discuss the emotions involved in meeting her US family and discovering the video message that her grandfather left behind. She will explain her approach to helping UK foundlings find a similar sense of belonging. She will focus on the case of Sarah Smith, abandoned at a church in Kew in 1971 and now just a few steps away from finding her mother. She will also address raising public awareness that DNA testing can benefit everyone, as well as those suffering the incompleteness of not knowing their parentage.

Julia Bell
Julia Bell found her WW2 American GI grandfather, Arthur Benager Garrett, in 2014 despite having no name for him or any useable data of any kind. She now has a proven track record for finding GI fathers based in the UK in WW2, relying on DNA results alone. Using a combination of logic and intuition, Julia also works with UK foundlings, who have traditionally had many questions and no answers about their families until now.

Originally an English and History graduate, Julia will appear on Discovery UK this spring as the genetic genealogist on a documentary about babies left in public places. She has also featured in the press and on BBC Radio 4. While DNA testing in the UK is not yet as extensive as in America, Julia is keen to demonstrate its potential for finding unknown British parents. She already achieves what some have called impossible. Julia also aims to promote genetic genealogy in the UK and to encourage UK database growth.

Genetic genealogy in the 21st century: 
what it can do for you and what you can do for science

16.15
Details to follow

Katherine Borges
Katherine Borges is a founder member and Director of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

2 comments:

Gail Riddell said...

As always, thank you Debbie.
I am sad that yet again I will miss out on all these goodies, not to mention the buzz and comradeship that always accompanies such an event.

I hope you all have a wonderful time and that you find time to attend some of the other lectures.

Debbie Kennett said...

Thank you Gail. Perhaps you'll be able to come to WDYTYA on some other occasion. Don't forget that a lot of the lectures will be available online though it's always better to be there in person for the social gatherings.