Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » People » Christopher Richards » Christopher Richards

Christopher Richards

Plant Geneticist


Chris Richards 



1984       B.A.         Lewis and Clark College      Biology/English                    

1985       M.S.        Stanford University              Biology                  

1997       Ph.D.       Duke University                    Botany/Genetics                 

97-00     postdoc  Vanderbilt University          Evolutionary Biology           


Professional Experience

2000-present       Population Geneticist, USDA, ARS NCGRP, Fort Collins

2001-present       Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biology, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Colorado State University

1997-2000            Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Vanderbilt University

1990 1997            Research Assistant, Duke University

1986-1990            Research Biologist II Sandoz Corporation/ Zoëcon Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA



••         Population genetics of captive populations and genebanking

••         Statistical methods that reveal population diversity and structure

••         Methods to evaluate genetic changes over time

••         Genetic bottlenecks and history of domestication

••         Phylogenetics

••         Landscape genetics and geospatial techniques


Academic Service

••         Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate- Scholar Sponsor

Marie Turner                            Ph.D       

Jennifer Kendall                       M.Sc      

Linda Kothera                           Ph.D       

Andrew Boswell                       M.Sc      

Matt Hopken                             M.Sc      

Luke Tembrock                         Ph.D

Dale Lockwood                         Post Doctoral Scholar

••           Lecturer at Colorado State University.

Plant Domestication

Topic in Plant Biotechnology



Recent / Active participation

••         Member of the National Plant Germplasm Operations Committee

••         Member of IUCN committee of Crop Wild Relatives

••         Workshop  organizer Genomics of Genebanks Plant and Animal Genome Conferences

••         Expert Advisor Bioversity Reference Set Development

••         Host Collaborator EMBRAPA Florestas. Study of  phylogeographic diversity in Araucaria angustifolia, Dr Valderes de Sousa (2011-2012, 15 months)

••         Host Collaborator Bioversity Recipient of International Trust Fund Agreement -Collecting wild Hordeum in Jordan and hosted Imke Thormann (Ph.D. student ) for 5 weeks in 2012

••         Collaborator on Project Baseline, an NSF-funded study to collect seeds from wild populations for studies in evolution (PI: Julie Etterson)

••         Reviewer for: American Journal of Botany, American Naturalist, Bioinformatics, Conservation Biology,  Conservation Genetics, Crop Science, Evolution, Genome, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, Heredity, Journal of Heredity, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, New Phytologist, BMC Plant Biology, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, PloS Genetics.



Apple Diversity




PROGRAM HANDOUT: Capturing the Diversity of Apple Genetic Resources

PROGRAM HANDOUT: Unlocking valuable genetic diversity hidden in crop wild relatives