Alexander is one of the researchers in the paleo-DNA laboratory of David Reich at the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. Together with his colleagues, he collects genetic data on the ancient population of Eurasia and the American continent.
Alexander came to Sakhalin for the first time. Together with the American archeologist and anthropologist David W. Anthony, he conducted research studies in the European part of Russia in the scientific institutions of St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Brest, Samara, Ufa, where he selected samples for genetic studies in order to study the genetic links between the ancient population in Eurasia and the northern territories of the American continent. Alexander himself is more interested in the regions of Siberia and the Far East. He has already visited Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Vladivostok, Magadan: he met with archaeologists and anthropologists, participated in scientific discussions, studied collections, discussed the possibilities for cooperation. In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Alexander studies with great interest anthropological materials stored in the Sakhalin Regional Museum.
The goal of this scientific research is to select samples suitable for analysis from the materials of ancient burials, gathered during archaeological excavations on Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. These samples will be sent to the paleo-DNA laboratory. State–of–the–art equipment, technologies and the latest techniques are being used by researchers to read the maximum possible genetic information from these materials, covering the complete human genome. Based on the data obtained, it will be possible to analyze the geographic and temporal patterns of genetic proximity in order to understand the dynamics of the population on our island and its links with neighboring regions such as Hokkaido, Kuril Islands and Primorye, as well as migration processes in the broader context of Northeast Asia.
Radiocarbon analysis of the bone can also be performed for successful samples producing genomic data to determine the dating in the event that archaeological periodization is uncertain or could be questionable.
Sakhalin Regional Museum has a wide range of international scientific relations in the field of archeology, ethnography, medieval history with colleagues in Japan, the United States, Europe. They were formed back in the 90s of the twentieth century and are actively developing for over a quarter of a century. The establishment of new contacts expands opportunities for scientific cooperation, enriches world science with new knowledge and allows us Sakhalin citizens to explore in greater depth the various aspects of the ancient history of our native land.
Olga A. Shubina, PhD in History, Head of Department of Archeology of the Sakhalin Regional Museum