Michael Richards


Michael Richards is a Professor at the University of British Columbia and holds a part-time position as Professor at the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute. His research interests primarily involve isotope analysis in archaeology, palaeoanthropology and palaeontology, especially for reconstructing past diets and migration patterns. Most of his research has involved the application of stable isotope analysis (C and N) of bone collagen to determine human and animal diets in Prehistoric and Historic Europe. Particular areas of interest are the shift in diet between the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods in Europe, associated with the adoption of agriculture, and contrasting the diets of Neanderthals and modern humans in Europe. Mike's current research involves the use of other isotopes to reconstruct climate and migration patterns, as well as the extraction and isotopic analysis of proteins preserved in old or poorly preserved bone and teeth.

Email: mpricha@interchange.ubc.ca

Phone: 604-822-3503

Fax: 604-822-2878

Department of Anthropology
6303 NW Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC


D'Andrea, C., Richards, M.P., Pavlish, L.A., Wood, S., Manzo, A., and H.S. Wolde-Kiros (2011) Stable isotopic analysis of human and animal diets from two pre-Aksumite/Proto-Aksumite archaeological sites in northern Ethiopia. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 367-374.

Reich, D., Green, R., Kircher, M., Krause, J., Patterson, N., Durand, E., Viola, B., Briggs, A., Stenzel, U., Johnson, P., Maricic, T., Good, J., Marques-Bonet, T., Alkan, C., Fu, Q., Mallick, S., Li, H., Meyer, M., Eichler, E., Stoneking, M., Richards, M., Talamo, S., Shunkov, M., Derevianko, A., Hublin, J.-J., Kelso, J., Slatkin, M. and S. Paabo (2010) Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature 468:1053-1060.

Choy, K., Smith, C., Fuller, B., and M.P. Richards (2010) Investigation of amino acid d13C signatures in bone collagen to reconstruct human palaeodiets using liquid chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 6093-6111.

Copeland, S.R., Sponheimer, M., Lee-Thorp, J.A., le Roux, P.J., de Ruiter, D.J., and M. P. Richards (2010) Strontium isotope ratios in fossil teeth from South Africa: assessing laser ablation MC-ICP-MS analysis and the extent of diagenesis. Journal of Archaeological Science 37:1437-1446.

Bakail Hokkaido archaeology project