Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Photographer: Fiona Richards

Mr K. (Keith) Richards MSc

  • Faculty of Science
    Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Visiting address
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94248
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
  • Palynology and biostratigraphy of the Caspian Sea, Black Sea and Paratethys
  • Depositional environments in lacustrine and marine deltas
  • Tropical Cenozoic palynology and palaeoecology
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • World ecosystems and biogeography

Keith Richards graduated from Hull University in 1980 with a joint honours degree in Geography and Plant Biology. He continued in research in tropical ecology at Hull and Duke University, obtaining an M.Sc. in Quaternary palynology, based on a Holocene pollen study from Cameroon, West Africa. He joined Robertson Research in 1985 and was based for more than 5 years in Indonesia and Singapore, becoming involved in stratigraphic studies from around the world. He became increasingly involved in sequence stratigraphic interpretation, principally the integration of palynological, microfossil, electric log and seismic data. He opted to become an independent consultant in January 1997 and set up KrA Stratigraphic Ltd. Since then he has continued with palynological and stratigraphic studies from around the world, with particular emphasis on South America, Atlantic Margins, the Caspian Sea, Black Sea and South East Asia. Keith has organised and co-presented (with R.J. Morley) two advanced palynological workshops (December 2012 and December 2015) for the Vietnam Petroleum Institute, Ho Chi Minh City. He is familiar with palynofloras of ages ranging from Recent / Plio-Pleistocene / Tertiary / Mesozoic from most areas of the world including South America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela), Africa (Angola, Congo, Cabinda, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Libya), the Middle East (Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen and Oman), the Near East (Turkey, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Pakistan and India), Russia (including Sakhalin) and the Far East (China, Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea).

Keith is currently a Guest Researcher and PhD candidate at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, researching the recent palynological history of the Caspian region.

  • PhD thesis title (provisional): Studies in Caspian Sea palynology: six million years of vegetation, climate and sea level change.
  • MSc thesis title: A palynological study of the Late Quaternary vegetational history of Mboandong, a lowland lake in Cameroun (awarded 1987).


  • 1997-present   Palynologist, KrA stratigraphic
  • 1985-1996       Palynologist, Robertson Research
  • 1980-1985       Research Assistant, University of Hull and Duke University, USA


  • AAPG:            American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • AASP:             American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists
  • PESGB:           Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain
  • TMS:               The Micropalaeontological Society
  • QRA:               Quaternary Research Association
  • BES:                British Ecological Society

Personal email: 


ResearchGate profile:

Keith Richards Peer reviewed publications: 1984‐2017


  • Mudie, P., Rochon, A., Richards, K., Ferguson, S., Warny, S. and Grothe, A. (2017, in press) Spiniferites cruciformis, Pterocysta cruciformis and Galeacysta etrusca: morphology and paleoecology. Palynology (special issue on Spiniferites) Full publication details TBC.
  • Adeonipekun, P., Sowunmi, M.A. and Richards, K. (2017, in press) A new Late Miocene to Pleistocene palynomorph zonation scheme for the western offshore Niger Delta. Palynology
  • Richards, K., Mudie, P., Rochon, A., Athersuch, J., Bolikhovskaya, N.S., Hoogendoorn, R.M. and Verlinden, V. (2017) Late Pleistocene to Holocene evolution of the Emba Delta, Kazakhstan, and coastline of the north‐eastern Caspian Sea: Sediment, ostracods, pollen and dinoflagellate cyst records. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 468, 427-452. 


  • Naidina, O. and Richards, K. (2016) Pollen evidence for Late Pliocene‐Early Pleistocene vegetation and climate change in the North Caucasus, north‐western Caspian region. Quaternary International 409A, 50‐60.


  • Richards, K., Bolikhovskaya, N.S., Hoogendoorn, R.M., Kroonenberg, S.B., Leroy, S.A.G. and Athersuch, J. (2014) Reconstructions of deltaic environments from Holocene palynological records in the Volga delta, northern Caspian Sea. The Holocene 24(10), 1226‐1252.


  • Vincent, S.J., Davies, C.E., Richards, K. and Aliyeva, E. (2010) Contrasting Pliocene fluvial depositional systems within the rapidly subsiding South Caspian Basin; a case study of the palaeo‐Volga and palaeo‐Kura river systems in the Surakhany Suite, Upper Productive Series, onshore Azerbaijan. Marine and Petroleum Geology 27 (10), 2079‐2106.


  • Le Heron, D.P., Buslov, M.M., Davies, C., Richards, K. and Safonova, I. (2008) Evolution of Mesozoic fluvial systems along the SE flank of the West Siberian Basin, Russia. Sedimentary Geology 208, 45‐60.


Selected non-peer reviewed publications and conference presentations: 1982‐2014

  • Richards, K. and Richards, A.P. (2014) Pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating of the mid-Holocene ‘fossil forest’ at Conwy, North Wales, United Kingdom. Poster presented at 9th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference, Padova, Italy. August 2014.
  • Richards, K., Leroy, S.A.G, Arpe, K., Marret, F., Hoogendoorn, R.M., Kroonenberg, S.B. (2011) Fluctuations in Caspian Sea Level during the Quaternary: new evidence from palynology, ostracods and climate modeling. Extended abstract. 3rd International Symposium on the Geology of the Black Sea region, Bucharest, Romania, 1‐10 October 2011; In: Abstracts, Supplement to Geo‐Eco‐Marina 17, 144−147.
  • Bush, M.B., Jones, P. and Richards, K. (eds) (1986) The Krakatoa Centenary Expedition 1983: final report Miscellaneous Series No 33, Dept of Geography, University of Hull, 237pp. ISBN 0 85958 1179
  • Richards, K. (1986a) The flora of the Kratatau Islands: a case study in island biogeography. Pg 113‐133. In: Bush et al. (1986)
  • Richards, K. (1986b) Equations used in the calculation of biogeographical rates. Pg 222‐224. In: Bush et al. (1986)
  • Baker, R.G.E., Richards, K. and Rimes, C.A . (eds) (1986) The Hull University Cameroun Expedition 1981‐82: final report Miscellaneous Series No 30, Dept of Geography, University of Hull, 109pp. ISBN 0 85958 1160
  • Richards, K. (1986c) Preliminary results of pollen analysis of a 6000 year core from Mboandong, a crater lake in Cameroun. Pg 14‐28. In: Baker et al. (1986)
  • Richards, K. (1983) 100 years after Krakatoa. The Geographical Magazine LV‐8, 410‐411.
  • Flenley, J.R. and Richards, K. (eds) (1982) The Krakatoa Centenary Expedition: final report Miscellaneous Series No 25, Dept of Geography, University of Hull, 196pp. ISBN 0 85958 1110
  • Barker, N. and Richards, K. (1982) The vegetation of Anak Krakatau. Pg 143‐164. In: Flenley and Richards (1982)
  • Richards, K. (1982) Notes on the geomorphology of Krakatau. Pg 184‐187. In: Flenley and Richards (1982)

No known ancillary activities

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