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Personal profile


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 Expertise and Interests

  • Applying complete mtDNA genome variation to archaeogenetic questions


  • Genetics
  • Archeogenetics
  • Human Evolution
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Bioinformatics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Martin Richards is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Mitochondrial DNA Medicine & Life Sciences
mitochondrial DNA Agriculture & Biology
Southeastern Asia Medicine & Life Sciences
Middle East Medicine & Life Sciences
Population Medicine & Life Sciences
Mitochondrial Genome Medicine & Life Sciences
Islands Medicine & Life Sciences
Phylogeny Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2018 2023

ACROSS: Australasian Colonization Research: Origins of Seafaring to Sahul

Richards, M. & Farr, R. H.


Project: ResearchEU Government

Research Output 1993 2019

A dispersal of Homo sapiens from southern to eastern Africa immediately preceded the out-of-Africa migration

Rito, T., Vieira, D., Soares Da Silva, M., Conde-Sousa, E., Pereira, L., Mellars, P., Richards, M. & Soares, P., 18 Mar 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 10 p., 4728.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
climate conditions

An Efficient and User-Friendly Implementation of the Founder Analysis Methodology

Vieira, D., Almeida, M., Richards, M. B. & Soares, P., 22 Jun 2019, Practical Applications of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics: 13th International Conference, PACBB 2019. Mohamad, M. S., Zaki, N., Castellanos-Garzón, J. A., Fdez-Riverola, F. & Rocha, M. (eds.). Springer Verlag, p. 121-128 8 p. (Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing; vol. 1005).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

User interfaces

Maternal relationships within an Iron Age burial at the High Pasture Cave, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Dulias, K., Birch, S., Wilson, J. F., Justeau, P., Gandini, F., Flaquer, A., Soares, P., Richards, M. B., Pala, M. & Edwards, C. J., 1 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Archaeological Science. 110, 104978.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


On Methodological issues in the Indo-European debate By Michel Danino

Silva, M., Koch, J. T., Pala, M., Edwards, C. J., Soares, P. & Richards, M. B., 1 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Biosciences. 44, 3, 69.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Citation (Scopus)

Rectifying long-standing misconceptions about the ρ statistic for molecular dating

Macaulay, V., Soares, P. & Richards, M., 19 Feb 2019, In : PLoS One. 14, 2, e0212311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Maximum likelihood
Likelihood Functions