J.D. Barnes is a self-professed anthropologist who has appeared in D'ni several times. According to Nick White, he was "hanging around with the DRC". He has repeatedly stated that he does not work for the DRC. However, he claims they are aware of his activities.
J.D. has engaged explorers on several occasions, often saying that the culture that is being created in the Cavern is as important as the restoration conducted by the DRC. He's expressed support for explorers taking up roles in the new culture, referring to Brian Fioca as a 'leader' and Echo McKenzie as a 'mystic'. He emphasizes the power of the explorers to influence the direction of the restoration and the new Guilds. He has also urged explorers to communicate with the Bahro.
On August 2, 2007, he brought Tricia Isaacson to a public meeting with Cate Alexander in Kirel to discuss the authenticity of translations she claimed to have. Cate called Tricia an imposter, and J.D. left, thanking Cate for her time.
On November 4, 2007, after the departure of Dr. Kodama, J.D. met with Marie Sutherland privately to encourage her and Victor Laxman to stay in the Cavern, or at least pass on what information they had. He also made a strong point for using explorers as a resource for the DRC. He announced that she liked the ideas, but made no promises.
On November 28, 2007, J. D. conducted a Town Hall to discuss some documents he had recently acquired. He requested assistance from the D'ni Linguistic Fellowship, Subterranean Restorations, the D'ni Network, and the Guild of Messengers in translating and publicizing these documents.
He has also appeared as a commentator in the documentary The Deep City.
The status of J.D. as a character is unclear. He was first referred to by Nick White, and has been greeted by Cate Alexander and Douglas Sharper as if they knew him. He has also discussed previously unknown D'ni words.
Reaction to J.D. as a character has been generally positive, with many fans finding him interesting to talk to, no matter what his official status may be.
The Archiver Issue 9 contains the transcript of a Town Hall with J.D. Barnes. [not available]
- DRC forums. [not available]