About Angela Cone
The J2 Y-DNA project is currently managed by myself - Angela Cone. I live in New Zealand, and my work on the J2 Y-DNA project is done in my "free time". I'm not employed by, nor am I affiliated with any of the DNA testing companies, and don't receive any form of payment for any of the work I do in genetic genealogy. I have a strong interest in Genealogy, and I also have a Professional background in Biological Research. I do the work on the project out of altruism, and also from my personal passion for Scientific Research.
Sometimes I am not able to do the projects research as quickly as I like, - often the speed I work at is influenced by my health. Unfortunately I have health problems - If I didn't, I would be working professionally as a scientist (and would never have gotten interested in genetic genealogy let alone involved in Haplogroup J2 research). So,.. if updates etc. are sometimes a bit later than promised, - please be patient and bear with me. It does take a fair bit of time to work on the project, and I am effectively donating all my time for free to the project.
All people will approach research from different perspectives - these different perspectives shaped by their past (cultural, personal and professional). Even those who have professional qualifications in research, tend to solve genetic genealogy questions from different angles (I'm more skewed towards taxonomy and biometrics, others are more skewed towards mathematical formulae).
I've included the biographical info below to give people better insight into the "angle" I approach genetic genealogy from. The first part is written in the third person:
Angela is a New Zealand photographer/educator, who enjoys indulging in genealogical research. Angela became interested in Genealogical research in 2000, after the death of her maternal uncle who had assisted some cousins in researching the Jamaican branch of the Family tree. Her mother returned from the funeral with photocopies of some of the genealogical research done, and Angela became intrigued. Within a couple of months she was well and truely "bitten by the Genealogy bug". She became interested in Genealogical and Anthropological DNA research in 2003 whilst living in Denmark for two years.
Her genealogical research focuses primarily on the ancestory of her maternal Grandmother, Edith Inkster. Edith Inkster was the second daughter of James Inkster and Jessie Bradley Rollo. Jessie Bradley Rollo was from Perth, Scotland, and James Inkster was from Eshaness, Northmavine, Zetland (Shetland). During the two years she was living in Denmark, she visited both Perth and Eshaness.
Angela hasn't always been a photographer/educator - until the end of 1999 she was actively involved in scientific research. She worked for 5 years at Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research) as a Botany/Ecology researcher. In this position she interacted closely with Scientists involved in Botanical/Ecosystems research, Entomological research and the Taxonomy of New Zealand Flora and Fauna. She also became well aquainted with the necessity of conducting biological research in a culturally respectful manner. In New Zealand, research on native flora and fauna needs to be done in consultation with local Iwi (in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi). (see here). Her employment with Manaaki Whenua ceased for health reasons.
Before her employment at Manaaki Whenua, she completed a masters degree at the University of Canterbury. Officially this degree was in Botany, but in actuality her study encompassed both Botany and Zoology. During her undergraduate degree she completed both Botany and Zoology papers, focusing primarily on Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Evolution, and Taxonomy. When she began her university studies her original intention was to do a double major in Zoology and Psychology, specializing in Animal Behaviour, - but somehow ended up specializing in Evolutionary Ecology. This switch in major was primarily* due to the inspiring teaching of the Ecologists, Taxonomists and Evolutionary biologists in the Botany department.
*(another reason was because she didn't think entertaining Takahe chicks with puppets, or scaring Black stilts with stuffed cats was intellectual enough for a Masters thesis,... she also thought that the behaviour lecturers were barking mad...especially the one who liked to keep road-kill Pukeko in his freezer,.. it sure made life "interesting" for his wife)
In late 1999, Angela began retraining in Psychology, with the intent of gaining a Phd and specialising in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. As part of this training she did a Graduate course in Behavioural Pharmacology and Neuroscience, which involved a practical research project in elucidating the role of the Nucleus Accumbens in the fear response, and a research project examining the effects of caffeine on rat exploratory behaviour. During this time she became well aquainted with the ethical issues involved with animal and human research. She concluded that whilst she could see the neccessity of doing animal research to progress Neuroscience, she did not feel comfortable with the idea of undertaking a personal career based on this type of research. Even though she excelled in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience, - she lacked "passion" for it. She realised that her desire to do a Phd in Psychology, might have been bourne out of her past desire to gain a Phd in Evolutionary Ecology (rather than in Psychology itself). She decided to take time off study from Psychology while she decided what she really wanted to do, and began retraining in Photography instead. As part of her Photography training she combined genealogy with photography and created a series of images, a sequence of which followed her maternal line ancestors. She chose to concentrate on this lineage because she knew from her past biological studies that this was the lineage that followed mtDNA inheritance. It was inevitable that she would then, later, have her mtDNA tested.
Angela also believes that people who write personal biographies in the third person are a wee bit odd (and possibly barking mad). Since the "barking mad" comparison is quite incorrect (afterall she is a cat person), she will now switch to the first person.
Yes,.. the above paragraph was written with my tongue firmly in my cheek ;).
I once read someone comment that people who write their own biography in the third person must be a bit "up themselves", - so my writing the above in the third person was done out of humour - self mocking humour. Some of you might also notice that I spell some words (eg. humour) wrong - I blame this spelling impairment on my ancestors. They were after all the ones responsible for my genes (which partially determine cognitive abilities, including those involved in spelling),... and they are also the ones who chose to emigrate to New Zealand (where we spell like the Britush) ...
... Generally on forums or in e-mails, I keep my sense of humour underwraps (as things like humour can easily be misunderstood without body language, intonation etc.). So, as a consequence, I probably sound more like an "up themselves academic" than I really am...
So,... what influences me the most?....
10 years ago I was inspired by the work of this scientist. In a seminar talk he outlined pollination biology research in which they determined the paternity of seeds by DNA testing. This revealed to me that molecular genetics could be an extremely useful & effective tool in answering research questions in Evolutionary Ecology. For instance, in Chionochloa (the plant I studied), what effect does flowering intensity have on geneflow? Does "mast flowering" promote outcrossing and/or does it result in a disproportionate number of seeds being pollinated by the plants that produced the most pollen?. For a while I seriously considered doing doctoral research using molecular techniques, - seriously enough to apply for research grant funding. If health hadn't forced me to stop working in scientific research, I most likely would have a Phd in Population Genetics and/or Molecular Systematics by now...... In which case, I most likely would never have become interested in Genealogy, nor Genetic genealogy.
I was one of these people that was "born to science", - I was interested in Science from an early age. Most little girls played with dolls - I explored, caught fish in streams, and collected bird nests (and despised the colour pink). Throughout childhood, I always assumed that I would grow up and work with animals. First I was going to be a Vet, and then a Zoologist, and then somehow I "accidentally" ended up with a MSc in Botany. Being a scientist was an integral part of my "personal identity". Therefore, being forced to leave a career that was the logical endpoint of the direction my life had been aiming towards since its very beginning, - was devastating.
In an odd kind of way I am "addicted" to research, and after I was forced to give up my career, Genealogical research helped fill that huge gap (as did my photography - and I still combine the two).
Aldham Churchyard (Suffolk) June 6 2008. The gravestone on the bottom left of the image is for my great great great grandmother, Sarah Ann Strand and her youngest son Charles Cone. Three years after her death, her husband William Bullock Cone emigrated to New Zealand with their remaining four children.
Allen, R.B., Buchanan, P.K., Clinton, P.W., & Cone, A.J. (2000) Composition and diversity of fungi on decaying logs in a New Zealand temperate beech (Nothofagus ) forest. Can. J. For. Res./Rev. Can. Rech. For. 30(7): 1025-1033
McKone, M. J., Kelly, D., Harrison, A. L., Sullivan, J. J. & Cone, A. J. (2001). Biology of insects that feed in the inflorescences of Chionochloa pallens (Poaceae) in New Zealand and their relevance to mast seeding. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 28, 89-101.
Cone, A.J, (2005) University of Canterbury Library