Research Interests

Nature used only the longest threads to weave her patterns,

so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.

~Richard Feynman~

MAFRI: Reconstructing past oceans and aquatic resource exploitation

Currently I am working on identifying fish remains from various different periods and context. This is important to understanding how our ancestors fished and ate. As part of a larger project I am looking to understand animal populations as they were in the past and how we might be able to sustain them in the present economic and geographic climate with warming average temperatures and management of "sustainable" fishing.

ZooMS Marker Development: Answering questions about domestication, animal populations and exploitation, and ecology

I am working with multiple lab groups to develop comprehensive sets of ZooMS markers for different species groups. Published work includes developing markers for Salmonidae and Bovidae. Unpublished projects currently include working on other groups of fish, rodents, and birds in order to improve the ZooMS marker database.

OpenZooMS: Open source databases and tools for community building

I am currently working on a suite of protocols, tools, and reference databases that will allow groups to better develop ZooMS for their own labs and use the existing tools. Current work in this area has included publications of several detailed protocols on and a paper on the standardization of ZooMS marker nomenclature. I have also developed a detailed graphic that describes ZooMS as well as helped set up a ZooMS lab at Columbia University with Dr. Dusan Boric and am currently assisting in redeveloping mMass as a free, open-source tool for data analysis.

Scholarships and Grants

-Marie Curie Fellow (2016-2018)

-Newton International Fellow, British Academy (2015-2016)

-NASA Space Grant Fellow (2010-2012)

-Paul and Harriet Campbell Distinguished Graduate Fellow, Penn State (2009-2010)

-Vagelos Scholar, University of Pennsylvania (2001-2006)

Selected Publications

  • A Jenzen, KK Richter, O Mwebi, S Brown, V Onduso, F Gatwiri, E Ndiema, M Katongo, ST Goldstein, K Douka, N Boivin. Distinguishing African bovids using Zooarchaeolgy by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS): New peptide markers and insights into Iron Age economies in Zambia. Accepted PLOS One.

  • S Brown, K Douka, MJ Collins, KK Richter. (2021). On the standardization of ZooMS nomenclature. Journal of Proteomics 235: 104041.

  • N Wang, S Brown, P Ditchfield, S Hebestreit, M Kozilikin, S Luu, O Wedage, S Grimaldi, M Chazan, KL Horwitz, M Spriggs, G Summerhayes, M Shunkov, KK Richter, K Douka. (2021). Testing the efficacy and comparability of ZooMS protocols on archaeological bone. Journal of Proteomics 233: 104078.

  • C Bochaton, B Ephrem, B Bérard, D Cochard, M Gala, KK Richter, A Le Lay, S Renou, A Lenoble. (2021). The pre-Columbian site of Roseau (Guadeloupe, F. W. I.): intra-site chronological variability of the subsistence strategies in a Late Ceramic archaeological vertebrate assemblage. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 13: 16.

  • M Bleasdale, KK Richter, A Janzen, S Brown, A Scott, J Zech, S Wilkin, K Wang, S Schiffels, J Desideri, M Besse, J Reinold, M Saad, H Babiker, R C Power, E Ndiema, C Ogola, FK Manthi, M Zahir, M Petraglia, C Trachsel, P Nanni, J Grossmann, J Hendy, A Crowther, P Roberts, ST Goldstein, N Boivin. (2021). Ancient proteins provide evidence of diary consumption in eastern Africa. Nature Communications 12:632.

  • A Wagner, KK Richter, E Ludes, RM Arbogast, D Carita, A Guidez, S Soussoko, N Boivin, JC Marche, MD Wandhammer, M Meister. (2020). Whale Bone Puzzles: Reconstructing and identifying historical whale skeletons using archive records, osteology, and Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS). Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies 18(1): 1-12.

  • LZT Jensen, A Sjöström, A Fischer, E Rosengren, LT Lanigan, O Bennike, KK Richter, KJ Gron, M Mackie, MF Mortensen, and L Sørensen. (2020). An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia. Scientific Reports 10(1): 1-12.

  • KK Richter, K McGrath, E. Masson-MacLean, S Hickinbotham, A Tdder, K Britton, Z Bottomley, K Dobney, A Hulme-Beaman, M Zona, R Fischer, MJ Collins, CF Speller. (2020). What's the catch? Archaeological application of rapid collagen-based species identification for Pacific Salmon. Journal or Archaeological Science 116: 105116.

  • AKG Jones, KK Richter. (2018). Widening the net: new approaches to the identification of fish remains from archaeological sites. In S Gabriel, E. Reitz (Eds.) Fishing through time. Archaeoichthyology, biodiversity, ecology and human impact on aquatic environments. Proceedings of the 18th biennial meeting of the Fish Remains Working Group (FRWG). Lisboa: Direcção Geral do Património Cultural

  • JR Paris, KD Sherman, E Bell, C Boulenger, C Delord, MBM El-Mahdi, EA Fairfield, AM Griffiths, C Gutmann Roberts, RD Hedger, LE Holman, LH Hooper, NE Humphries, I Katsiadaki, RA King, A Lemopoulos, CJ Payne, G Peirson, KK Richter, MI Taylor, CN Trueman, B Hayden, JR Stevens. (2018). Understanding and Managing Fish Populations: keeping the toolbox fit for purpose. Journal of Fish Biology 92(3): 727-751.

  • KK Richter, J Wilson, AKG Jones, M Buckley, N van Doorn, and MJ Collins. (2011). Fish 'n chips: ZooMS peptide mass fingerprinting in a 96 well plate format to identify fish bone fragments. Journal of Archaeological Science 38(7): 1502-1510.

Published Protocols

  • S Wilkin, R Hagen, S Hebestreit, M Bleasdale, A Nayak, L Tang, TN Billings, N Boivin, KK Richter. (2021). SP3 (Single-Pot, Solid-Phase, Sample-Preparation) Protein Extraction for Dental Calculus.

  • S Brown, S Hebestreit, N Wang, N Boivin, K Douka, KK Richter. (2020). Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) – pretreatment protocols for bone material.

  • N Wang, S Wilkin, S Hebestreit, S Brown, N Boivin, K Douka, KK Richter. (2020). SP3 (Single-Pot, Solid-Phase, Sample-Preparation) Protocol for ZooMS applications.