I’m Erin Hill-Burns, and I started dabbling in genealogy as a teenager, visiting cemeteries and archives in my home state of Delaware and accumulating notes and family trees from other interested family members. I’ve been actively pursuing genealogy research for more than fifteen years.
After receiving a BS in Biology from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Genetics from Cornell University, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher and a staff scientist in academic labs, with more than fifteen years of scientific research experience studying evolutionary genetics and the genetics of human disease. While some of this work was done at the bench (crossing and experimenting with fruit flies, extracting DNA, sequencing and genotyping), much of my time in “lab” was actually spent on data analysis: using computational tools and statistics to gather, format, and analyze (sometimes massive) datasets.
I’ve kept studying the histories of my own family and others, and I’ve been working to improve not only the extent of my knowledge about my family tree (and the people in it), but also to ensure that the information in any family history project I work on is as sound as it can be. In the lab, in the library, or carefully reading and understanding documents and information, I love using my years of research experience and data analysis to solve puzzles, answer questions, and understand context.
I completed the Boston University Certificate Course for Genealogical Research in December 2017 (OL25), was a member of the ProGen43 Study Group (2019-2020), and I participated in the Certification Discussion Group in Fall 2021.