Dr. Richards specializes in nautical archaeology, archaeological theory and is a specialist in watercraft discard and cultural site formation processes of the archaeological record. He has an interest in non-traditional subjects in maritime archaeology focusing on non-shipwreck sites such as ship graveyards, the archaeology of harbor infrastructure, and maritime terrestrial sites. He has been involved in a number of field schools run by Departments of Archaeology at Flinders University (South Australia), and James Cook University (Queensland), and has been employed in cultural resource management work by the State Governments of South Australia and Tasmania. Currently he is working in three main themes within the theme of cultural site formation; shipboard incarceration, ferrous shipbuilding traditions (iron, steel and steam shipbuilding), and ship abandonment (an extension of the Australian Abandoned Ships Project to the USA). His research has appeared in the Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, The Great Circle (The Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History), The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, and Historical Archaeology as well as a number of other journal articles, book chapters, and numerous reports and reviews. He is co-author (with Robyn Hartell) of The Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard Maritime Heritage Trail (2001), and the soon to be published Ships’ Graveyards: Abandoned Watercraft and the Archaeological Formation Process (University of Florida Press). Dr. Richards is an active member of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (their newsletter editor 2001-2006) and the Australian Association for Maritime History. Dr. Richards teaches classes in the history and theory of nautical archaeology, research and field methods, cultural resource management, and field schools.
2008 Ships Graveyards: Abandoned Watercraft and the Archaeological Formation Process. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
2001 Garden Island Ships Graveyard Maritime Heritage Trail. Heritage South Australia, Adelaide (With Robyn Hartell).
2007 Garden Island (1906-1945) – Graveyard of Ships, in Nash, Mike (ed.), Shipwreck! Nautical Archaeology in Australia, University of Western Australia Press: Fremantle. In Press.
2005 Thematic Studies in Australian Maritime Archaeology. In Australian Approaches to Maritime Archaeology, Mark Staniforth and Mike Nash, editors. Kluwer Press, New York, NY.
2000 Recommendations for Future Web-based Aspects of the Flinders University Archaeology Topic: ARCH 3007 ‘Power, Ethnicity and Gender in Archaeology,’. In Archaeology in Cyberspace: A Pilot study at Flinders University, South Australia, Claire Smith, editor. Southern Archaeology, South Australia.
2000 The Ships Graveyard. In The Port River , Jane Marr, editor. City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Adelaide, South Australia.
2007 Artefact Patterning at the Holdfast Bay Jetty: Part 1, a General Consideration of N-Transforms, in Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, 30 (With Chris Lewczak). In Press.
2007 Artefact Patterning at the Holdfast Bay Jetty: Part 2, an Interpretation of the Archaeological Deposit, in Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, 30 (With Chris Lewczak). In Press.
2006 The Abandoned Ships’ Project. Historical Archaeology 40(4): 84-102 (With Mark Staniforth).
2005 Ruling Theories Linger: Questioning the Identity of the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 34(1): 24-37 (With Bradley A. Rodgers and Wayne Lusardi).
2005 The Archaeological Examination of Watercraft Abandonment in Australia: A Retrospective. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 29:61-76.
2005 Unfit for Further Use: Watercraft Discard in Tasmania (1808-1997). Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 29: 25-39 (With Michael Nash).
2004 The Role of Geo-politics in Cultural Site Formation: A Case Study from the Northern Territory. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 28: 97-106.
2003 The Role of Isolation in Cultural Site Formation: A case study from Strahan, Tasmania. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 27: 77-84.
2002 Back to the Bay: an Overview of the Holdfast Bay Project 1974-2000 and The Reinvigoration of Avocational Maritime Archaeology in South Australia. Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 26: 19-26 (With Christopher Lewczak).
1999 Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard: Maritime Heritage Trail. Heritage South Australia Newsletter. 15 (July): 14-15.
1999 The Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard: Results and Findings of Archaeological Fieldwork 1996-1998. Proceedings of the National Archaeology Students’ Conference 1998, Australian National University, Canberra, pp.11-18.
1998 Inferences from the study of Iron and Steamship Abandonment: A Case Study from the Garden Island Ship’s Graveyard, South Australia. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 22(1): 75-80.