"I decided to apply here because of the amazing ancient DNA lab. In addition, I was particularly interested in the department’s commitment to Indigenous archaeology and the developments of long term collaborative projects with First Nations communities. "

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Student Profile: Yuka Shichiza

October 15, 2021
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Archaeology doctoral student in the Faculty of Science

I am originally from Japan and attended Leiden University in the Netherlands for BA in Archaeology with honours degree. Then I obtained MSc in Bioarchaeology at the University of York, UK. I started my PhD program at SFU in 2020 and had been taking zoom classes from Japan, but finally managed to physically join the department from fall 2021. I love archaeology as it enables me to combine all my interests including reconstructing the past human actives and environments, applying biomolecular science, and working for ethics and social justice.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I decided to apply here because of the amazing ancient DNA lab. In addition, I was particularly interested in the department’s commitment to Indigenous archaeology and the developments of long term collaborative projects with First Nations communities.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

In my PhD project, I am investigating long term human-fish interaction in Hokkaido, northern Japan through ancient DNA analysis of archaeological fish remains. In particular, my aim is to reconstruct past fishing activities as well as environmental changes by tracing ancient fish DNA. By conducting this research, I hope to develop collaborative relationships with local Indigenous Ainu communities in Hokkaido and return the research outcome.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I have been enjoying the stimulating environment here that allows me to pursue my research and broaden my horizons at the same time. Moreover, everyone in the department I have met is so nice. My supervisors as well as other staff have always been very supportive and considerate, and it really helped me when I was having a difficult time getting stuck in Japan due to the pandemic. I also greatly appreciate my cohort and the lab group for their kind spirits and encouragement.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I was awarded Graduate Dean's Entrance Scholarship. This funding enabled me to start my PhD student life without financial anxiety and I am truly grateful.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

The Department of Archaeology at SFU is one of the dream communities and so nice to be part of.

 

Contact : yuka_shichiza@sfu.ca

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