Michael Richards


Areas of interest

My research interests include the evolution of human diets over time, especially the diets of Neanderthals and early modern humans, and the spread and adoption of agriculture in Eurasia. Current research includes developing new isotope systems for dietary and migration studies, using isotope analysis to explore and catalogue the range and nature of human dietary adaptations throughout the Holocene, and developing and applying isotope analysis in forensics.

Our research group is working in many areas of the world and in many different time periods. If you are interested in discussing a collaborative project or joining the group as a graduate student please contact me.


  • BA hons (Simon Fraser University)
  • MA (Simon Fraser University)
  • PhD (University of Oxford)


I am an archaeological scientist who applies methods such as isotopic analysis to determine past human and animal diets and adaptations. Before joining (returning to) SFU I was a Professor at the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany) and Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UBC. I was also a Wellcome Trust University Award holder and then Professor in the Department of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford (UK) and a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Durham (UK). I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Recent Publications

For an up-to-date list of publications please see my Google Scholar profile: