Since the early 2000s he has worked at the Center of Comparative Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, where he also teaches, as well as serves as head of the Department of Far Eastern Philology at the same institution; specializing in Dravidian, general Nostratic, Sino-Tibetan (mainly Chinese), Yenisseian, and Khoisan studies. He carries on several of his father's projects, including the participation at the Santa Fe Institute.
Starostin's research focuses on the Evolution of Human Languages project; The Tower of Babel, a publicly searchable online database containing information about many Eurasia's language families; and STARLING, a software package to aid comparative linguists.
The Evolution of Human Languages (EHL) is an international project on "the linguistic prehistory of humanity" coordinated by the Santa Fe Institute. The project distinguishes about 6000 languages spoken in the world nowadays, and aims to provide a detailed classification similar to the accepted classification of biological species.