Emeritus biology professor uses DNA to track his family tree
An emeritus professor of biology at the University of Guam has, true to his area of academic expertise, connected the DNA dots within his family tree.
Dr. Christopher Lobban, a professor of biology at UOG from 1988 to 2015 who continues to teach Biology 100 as an emeritus professor, turned to Y-DNA, or DNA of the paternal line, to find connections between the branches of the Scottish names Lobban and Loban that couldn’t be found through paper records. He has also used DNA to test the hypothesis that the two Lobban groups had different places of origin, one in the Scottish Highlands and the other in the Lowlands.
“As a biologist and taxonomist, I am very aware of the power of DNA to show relationships between groups of plants or animals for which there are no physical records, so it was an easy step to apply that to finding the links in the deep tree of my own family name,” Lobban said.
In 2018, Lobban launched a collaborative effort that has over the span of two years uncovered the origin of the Lowland Lobbans and developed the family’s deep family tree and branch structure. His project is now entering a third phase to repeat the process for ancestors of the Highlands by the name Loban and Logan.
His research is an official project under the Guild of One-Name Studies, a charity organization based in the United Kingdom that assists in the study, exchange, and publishing of information on family surnames.
The Lobban One-Name Study is detailed at https://lobban.one-name.net.