Portrait of Prof Martin Richards Prof Martin Richards

m.b.richards@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471676


Martin studied genetics at the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester, moving to Oxford University and into archaeogenetic research in 1990. From there, he developed collaborative links with a small group of like-minded colleagues who spearheaded the use of network diagrams in the phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This enjoyable collaboration was to yield influential models for the settlement of both Europe and the Pacific, and for prehistoric dispersals in Africa. He subsequently moved to UCL, Huddersfield and then Leeds University, where he taught, amongst other topics, human evolution, molecular evolution and bioinformatics. He finally moved back to Huddersfield to take up a Research Chair in January 2012.

His research in the last decade has particularly sought to apply complete mtDNA genome variation to archaeogenetic questions, such as the route taken by modern humans dispersing out of Africa and the settlement of Southeast Asia and the Pacific – most recently returning his focus to the continuing controversy over the settlement of Europe.

He co-edited Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens (Springer-Verlag, 2006) with Hans-Jürgen Bandelt and Vincent Macaulay.

Research & Scholarship

Please see the Archaeogenetics Research Group website for details of Martin's current and recent research projects.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Costa, M., Pereira, J., Woodward, S., Eng, K., Macaulay, V., Carr, M., Soares, P., Pereira, L., Richards, M., Pala, M., Fernandes, V., Olivien, A., Achilli, A., Perego, U., Rychkov, S., Naumova, O. and Hatina, J. (2013) ‘A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineagesNature Communications , 4 (2543). ISSN 2041-1723

Pereira, L., Olivieri, A., Achilli, A., Richards, M., Torroni, A., Pala, M., Gandini, F., Kashani, B., Perego, U., Woodward, S., Grugni, V., Battaglia, V. and Semino, O. (2013) ‘Mitogenomes from Two Uncommon Haplogroups Mark Late Glacial/Postglacial Expansions from the Near East and Neolithic Dispersals within EuropePLoS ONE , 8 (7), p. e70492. ISSN 1932-6203

Mellars, P., Gori, K., Carr, M., Soares, P. and Richards, M. (2013) ‘Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern AsiaProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 110 (26), pp. 10699-10704. ISSN 0027-8424


Soares, P., Alshamali, F., Cerny, V., Pereira, L., Pereira, J., Fernandes, V., Silva, N., Afonso, C., Costa, M., Musilova, E., Macaulay, V. and Richards, M. (2012) ‘The Expansion of mtDNA Haplogroup L3 within and out of AfricaMolecular Biology and Evolution , 29 (3), pp. 915-927. ISSN 0737-4038

Fernandes, V., Alshamali, F., Pereira, L., Alves, M., Costa, M., Pereira, J., Cherni, L., Harich, N., Cerny, V., Soares, P. and Richards, M. (2012) ‘The Arabian Cradle: Mitochondrial Relicts of the First Steps along the Southern Route out of AfricaAmerican Journal of Human Genetics , 90 (2), pp. 347-355. ISSN 1537-6605


Soares, P., Rito, T., Denham, T., Donohue, M., Macaulay, V., Lin, M., Oppenheimer, S., Richards, M., Trejaut, J., Mormina, M., Hill, C., Tinkler-Hundal, E., Braid, M., Clarke, D., Loo, J. and Thomson, N. (2011) ‘Ancient Voyaging and Polynesian OriginsThe American Journal of Human Genetics , 88 (2), pp. 239-247. ISSN 00029297

Chaubey, G., Metspalu, M., Mallick, C., Karmin, M., Nelis, M., Parik, J., Reddy, A., Metspalu, E., van Driem, G., Xue, Y., Tyler-Smith, C., Thangaraj, K., Choi, Y., Singh, L., Remm, M., Richards, M., Lahr, M., Kayser, M., Villems, R., Kivisild, T., Magi, R., Romero, I., Soares, P., van Oven, M., Behar, D., Rootsi, S. and Hudjashov, G. (2011) ‘Population Genetic Structure in Indian Austroasiatic Speakers: The Role of Landscape Barriers and Sex-Specific AdmixtureMolecular Biology and Evolution , 28 (2), pp. 1013-1024. ISSN 0737-4038


Pereira, L., Silva, N., Macaulay, V., Franco-Duarte, R., Fernandes, V., Pereira, J., Costa, M., Martins, H., Soares, P., Behar, D. and Richards, M. (2010) ‘Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6BMC Evolutionary Biology , 10 (1), p. 390. ISSN 1471-2148

Jones, E., Jóhannesdóttir, F., Gündüz, ?., Richards, M. and Searle, J. (2010) ‘The expansion of the house mouse into north-western EuropeJournal of Zoology , 283 (4), pp. 257-268. ISSN 09528369

Knapp, M., Edwards, C., Richards, M., Bradley, D., Loftus, B., MacHugh, D., Magee, D., Park, S., McGettigan, P., Lohan, A., Murphy, A., Finlay, E., Shapiro, B. and Chamberlain, A. (2010) ‘A Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence from a Mesolithic Wild Aurochs (Bos primigenius)PLoS ONE , 5 (2), p. e9255. ISSN 1932-6203

Soares, P., Achilli, A., Semino, O., Davies, W., Macaulay, V., Bandelt, H., Torroni, A. and Richards, M. (2010) ‘The Archaeogenetics of EuropeCurrent Biology , 20 (4), p. R174-R183. ISSN 09609822


Kayser, M., Salas, A., Lovo-Gómez, J., Álvarez-Iglesias, V., Cerezo, M., Lareu, M., Macaulay, V., Richards, M. and Carracedo, &. (2009) ‘Mitochondrial Echoes of First Settlement and Genetic Continuity in El SalvadorPLoS ONE , 4 (9), p. e6882. ISSN 1932-6203

Soares, P., Ermini, L., Thomson, N., Mormina, M., Rito, T., Röhl, A., Salas, A., Oppenheimer, S., Macaulay, V. and Richards, M. (2009) ‘Correcting for Purifying Selection: An Improved Human Mitochondrial Molecular ClockThe American Journal of Human Genetics , 84 (6), pp. 740-759. ISSN 00029297

Dhandapany, P., Sadayappan, S., Tharkan, J., Vaideeswar, P., Rathinavel, A., Narasimhan, C., Ayapati, D., Ayub, Q., Mehdi, S., Oppenheimer, S., Richards, M., Price, A., Xue, Y., Patterson, N., Reich, D., Singh, L., Tyler-Smith, C., Thangaraj, K., Powell, G., Rani, D., Nallari, P., Rai, T., Khullar, M., Soares, P. and Bahl, A. (2009) ‘A common MYBPC3 (cardiac myosin binding protein C) variant associated with cardiomyopathies in South AsiaNature Genetics , 41 (2), pp. 187-191. ISSN 1061-4036


Pereira, F., Soares, P., Carneiro, J., Pereira, L., Richards, M., Samuels, D. and Amorim, A. (2008) ‘Evidence for Variable Selective Pressures at a Large Secondary Structure of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control RegionMolecular Biology and Evolution , 25 (12), pp. 2759-2770. ISSN 0737-4038

Bandelt, H., Yao, Y., Richards, M. and Salas, A. (2008) ‘The brave new era of human genetic testing Bioessays , 30 (11), pp. 1246-1251. ISSN 1521-1878

Ermini, L., Olivieri, C., Rizzi, E., Corti, G., Bonnal, R., Soares, P., Luciani, S., Marota, I., De Bellis, G. and Richards, M. (2008) ‘Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Tyrolean IcemanCurrent Biology , 18 (21), pp. 1687-1693. ISSN 09609822

Soares, P., Trejaut, J., Bulbeck, D., Oppenheimer, S., Lin, M., Richards, M., Loo, J., Hill, C., Mormina, M., Lee, C., Chen, Y., Hudjashov, G., Forster, P. and Macaulay, V. (2008) ‘Climate Change and Postglacial Human Dispersals in Southeast AsiaMolecular Biology and Evolution , 25 (6), pp. 1209-1218. ISSN 0737-4038

Achilli, A., Olivieri, A., Battaglia, V., Fornarino, S., Kalamati, J., Houshmand, M., Negrini, R., Semino, O., Richards, M., Macaulay, V., Ferretti, L., Bandelt, H., Pellecchia, M., Ajmone-Marsan, P., Torroni, A., Uboldi, C., Colli, L., Al-Zahery, N., Accetturo, M., Pala, M., Hooshiar Kashani, B. and Perego, U. (2008) ‘Mitochondrial genomes of extinct aurochs survive in domestic cattleCurrent Biology , 18 (4), p. R157-R158. ISSN 09609822

Richards, M., Capelli, C. and Wilson, J. (2008) ‘Genetics and the Origins of the British Population’. In: eLS: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. London, UK: Wiley. . ISBN 9780470015902


Hill, C., Soares, P., Richards, M., Mormina, M., Macaulay, V., Clarke, D., Blumbach, P., Vizuete-Forster, M., Forster, P., Bulbeck, D. and Oppenheimer, S. (2007) ‘A mitochondrial stratigraphy for Island Southeast Asia American Journal of Human Genetics , 80, pp. 29-43. ISSN 1537-6605


Richards, M., Bandelt, H., Kivisild, T. and Oppenheimer, S. (2006) ‘A Model for the Dispersal of Modern Humans out of Africa’. In: Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag. pp. 225-265. ISBN 978-3-540-31788-3

Kivisild, T., Metspalu, M., Bandelt, H., Richards, M. and Villems, R. (2006) ‘The World mtDNA Phylogeny’. In: Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag. pp. 149-179. ISBN 978-3-540-31788-3

Bandelt, H., Kong, Q., Richards, M. and Macaulay, V. (2006) ‘Estimation of Mutation Rates and Coalescence Times: Some Caveats’. In: Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag. pp. 47-90. ISBN 978-3-540-31788-3

Metspalu, M., Kivisild, T., Bandelt, H., Richards, M. and Villems, R. (2006) ‘The Pioneer Settlement of Modern Humans in Asia’. In: Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag. pp. 181-199. ISBN 978-3-540-31788-3

Hill, C., Soares, P., Oppenheimer, S., Richards, M., Mormina, M., Macaulay, V., Meehan, W., Blackburn, J., Clarke, D., Raja, J., Ismail, P. and Bulbeck, D. (2006) ‘Phylogeography and Ethnogenesis of Aboriginal Southeast Asians Molecular Biology and Evolution , 23 (12), pp. 2480-2491. ISSN 0737-4038


Macaulay, V., Hill, C., Taha, A., Shaari, N., Raja, J., Ismail, P., Zainuddin, Z., Goodwin, W., Bulbeck, D., Bandelt, H., Oppenheimer, S., Torroni, A., Achilli, A., Richards, M., Rengo, C., Clarke, D., Meehan, W., Blackburn, J., Semino, O., Scozzari, R. and Cruciani, F. (2005) ‘Single, rapid coastal settlement of Asia revealed by analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes Science , 308 (5724), pp. 1034-1036. ISSN 0036-8075


Macaulay, V., Richards, M., Forster, P., Bendall, K., Watson, E., Sykes, B. and Bandelt, H. (1997) ‘mtDNA mutation rates--no need to panicAmerican Journal of Human Genetics , 61, pp. 983-986. ISSN 1537-6605

Watson, E., Forster, P., Richards, M. and Bandelt, H. (1997) ‘Mitochondrial footprints of human expansions in Africa. American Journal of Human Genetics , 61, pp. 691-704. ISSN 1537-6605


Bailey, J., Richards, M., Macaulay, V., Colson, I., James, I., Bradley, D., Hedges, R. and Sykes, B. (1996) ‘Ancient DNA Suggests a Recent Expansion of European Cattle from a Diverse Wild Progenitor SpeciesProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 263 (1376), pp. 1467-1473. ISSN 0962-8452

Wilkinson-Herberts, H., Richards, M., Forster, P. and Sykes, B. (1996) ‘Site 73 in hypervariable region II of the human mitochondrial genome and the origin of European populations Annals of Human Genetics , 60 (6), pp. 499-508. ISSN 00034800

Côrte-Real, H., Macaulay, V., Richards, M., Hariti, G., Issad, M., Cambon-Thomsen, A., Papiha, S., Bertranpetit, J. and Sykes, B. (1996) ‘Genetic diversity in the Iberian Peninsula determined from mitochondrial sequence analysisAnnals of Human Genetics , 60 (4), pp. 331-350. ISSN 00034800


Sykes, B., Leiboff, A., Tetzner, S. and Richards, M. (1995) ‘The origins of the Polynesians: an interpretation from mitochondrial lineage analysisAmerican Journal of Human Genetics , 57 (6), pp. 1463-1475. ISSN 1537-6605

Bandelt, H., Forster, P., Sykes, B. and Richards, M. (1995) ‘Mitochondrial portraits of human populations using median networksGenetics , 141, pp. 743-753. ISSN 0016-6731

Richards, M., Côrte-Real, H., Forster, P., Macaulay, V., Wilkinson-Herbots, H., Demaine, A., Papiha, S., Hedges, R., Bandelt, H. and Sykes, B. (1995) ‘Paleolithic and neolithic lineages in the European mitochondrial gene poolAmerican Journal of Human Genetics , 59 (1), pp. 185-203. ISSN 1537-6605

Richards, M., Sykes, B. and Hedges, R. (1995) ‘Authenticating DNA Extracted From Ancient Skeletal RemainsJournal of Archaeological Science , 22 (2), pp. 291-299. ISSN 03054403


Handt, O., Richards, M., et, a., Trommsdorff, M., Kilger, C., Simanainen, J., Georgiev, O., Bauer, K., Stone, A., Hedges, R. and Schaffner, W. (1994) ‘Molecular genetic analyses of the Tyrolean Ice ManScience , 264 (5166), pp. 1775-1778. ISSN 0036-8075


Richards, M., Smalley, K., Sykes, B. and Hedges, R. (1993) ‘Archaeology and genetics: Analysing DNA from skeletal remainsWorld Archaeology , 25 (1), pp. 18-28. ISSN 1470-1375

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