Stephen Richards


Stephen Richards works with local NGOs throughout the Melanesian region to assess biodiversity in poorly-known regions and to provide training opportunities for local university students and young biologists. Stephen’s research background is in amphibian ecology, conservation and systematics and this group of vertebrates, along with the jewels of the insect world, the dragonflies and damselflies, remain a large focus of his work.

Over the past 20 years Stephen has conducted more than 30 major biodiversity assessment projects in New Guinea and the SW Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Papua, West Papua and Maluku [Indonesian New Guinea], & Solomon Islands, Laos and New Caledonia) for a wide range of organizations including local and international NGOs. He has also provided field-based training in rapid biodiversity assessment techniques for local university students and NGO staff in the Asia-Pacific region since 1996. Stephen is an Honorary Research Associate at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia and the Regional Chair for Melanesia of the IUCN’s Amphibian Specialist Group. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on the ecology, conservation and systematics of frogs and dragonflies and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on Melanesian herpetofauna and Odonata. Stephen is an accomplished natural history photographer and his images have been used in many campaigns to promote biodiversity conservation to members of the general public.

Education

  • Honours (Biology) (First Class), Amphibian Ecology, Flinders University of South Australia.
  • B.A. (Biology), Flinders University of South Australia.

Publications

Theischinger, G. & Richards, S.J. (2015). The genus Nososticta Hagen (Odonata: Platycnemididae) from the Papuan region with descriptions of ten new species group taxa. Odonatologica, 44, (in press).

Richards, S.J., Tjaturadi, B., Mumpuni & Puradyatmika, P. (2015) Field guide to frogs of the Mimika region – Papua, Indonesia. PT Freeport Indonesia. Jakarta.

Richards, S.J. & Whitmore, N. (editors). (2015). A Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of the Hindenburg Wall Region, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. Report to the PNG Sustainable Development Fund.

Brown, R.M., Siler, C.D., Richards, S.J., Diesmos, A.C. &Cannatella, D.C. (2015). Multilocus phylogeny and a new classification for Southeast Asian and Melanesian forest frogs (family Ceratobatrachidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 173, doi: 10.1111/zoj.12232.

Anstis, M. &Richards, S.J. (2014). The tadpole of Litoria multiplica (Anura: Hylidae) from Papua New Guinea. The Herpetological Bulletin 128, 12–15.

Richards, S.J., Oliver, P. & Brown, R.M. (2014). A new scansorial species of Platymantis Günther, 1858 (Anura: Ceratobatrachidae) from Manus Island, Admiralty Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. In: Telnov, D. (Editor) Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea. Vol. 2: Pp. 123–133.

Günther, R. Richards, S.J. & Dahl, C. (2014). Nine new species of microhylid frogs from the Muller Range in western Papua New Guinea (Anura, Microhylidae). Vertebrate Zoology 64, 59–94.

Iannella, A., Richards, S.J. & Oliver, P. (2014). A new species of Choerophryne (Anura, Microhylidae) from the central cordillera of Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 3753: 483-493.

Orr, A.,Kalkman, V. & Richards, S.J. (2014 [2013]). Four new species of Palaiargia Förster, 1903 (Odonata: Platycnemididae) from New Guinea with revised distribution records for the genus. International Journal of Odonatology 16, 309–325.

Dahl, C., Richards, S.J. & Novotny, V. (2013). The Sepik River (Papua New Guinea) is not a dispersal barrier for lowland rain-forest frogs. Journal of Tropical Ecology 29, 477–483.

Oliver, P.M., Richards, S.J. & Sistrom, M. (2012). Phylogeny and systematics of Melanesia’s most diverse gecko lineage (Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Squamata). Zoologica Scripta , 437–454.

Alonso, L.E., Deichmann, J.L., McKenna, S.A., Naskrecki, P. & Richards, S.J. (editors) (2011). Still counting… Biodiversity exploration for conservation – the first 20 years of the Rapid Assessment Program. Conservation International. Arlington, USA.

Richards, S.J. & Gamui, B.G. (editors). (2011). Rapid Biological Assessments of the Nakanai Mountains and the upper Strickland Basin: surveying the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea’s sublime karst environments. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 60. Conservation International. Arlington, VA.

Anstis, M., Parker, F., Hawkes, T., Morris, I. & Richards, S.J. (2011). Direct development in some Australopapuan microhylid frogs of the genera Austrochaperina, Cophixalus and Oreophryne (Anura: Microhylidae) from northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 3052, 1–50.

Kaiser, H., Carvalho, V.L., Ceballos, J., Freed, P., Heacox, S., Lester, B., Richards, S.J., Trainor, C.R., Sanchez, C. & O’Shea, M. (2011). The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report. Zookeys 109, 19–86.

Hoffmann, M., Hilton-Taylor, C., Angulo, A., Bohm, M., Brooks, T.M., Butchart, S.H.M., Carpenter, K.E., Chanson, J., Collen, B., Cox, N.A., Darwall, W.R.T., Dulvy, N.K., Harrison, L.R., Katariya, V., Pollock, C.M., Quader, S., Richman, N.I., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Tognelli, M.F……..Richards, S.J., et al. (2010). The impact of conservation on the status of the world’s vertebrates. Science 330, 1503–1509.

Murray K., Retallick, R. McDonald, K.R., Mendez, D., Aplin, K., Kirkpatrick, P., Berger, L., Hunter, D., Hines, H.B., Campbell, R., Pauza, M., Driessen, M., Speare, R., Richards, S.J., Mahony, M., Freeman, A., Phillott, A.D., Hero, J-M., Kriger, K., Driscoll, D., Felton, A., Puschendorf, R., & Skerratt, L.F. (2010). The distribution and host range of the pandemic disease chytridiomycosis in Australia, spanning surveys from 1956-2007. Ecology. 91: 1557 and Ecological Archives E091–108.

Richards, S.J., Hoskin, C.J., Cunningham, M.J., McDonald, K.R. & Donnellan, S.C. (2010). Taxonomic re-assessment of the Australian and New Guinean green-eyed treefrogs Litoria eucnemis, L. genimaculata and L. serrata (Anura: Hylidae). Zootaxa 2391, 33–46.

Dahl, C., Novotny, V., Moravec, J. & Richards, S.J. (2009). Beta diversity of amphibians in the forests of New Guinea, Amazonia and Europe: contrasting tropical and temperate communities. Journal of Biogeography 36, 896–904.

Hero J-M., Richards, S., Alford, R., Allison, A. Bishop, P., Günther, R., Iskandar, D., Kraus, F., Lemckert, F., Menzies, J., Roberts, D. & Tyler M. (2008). Amphibians of the Australasian Region. Chapter 6, pp 65–70 in Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Ediciones.

Pikacha, P., Morrison, C. & Richards, S.J. (2008). Frogs of the Solomon Islands. University of the South Pacific. Suva, Fiji.

Alford, R.A., Bradfield, K.S & Richards S.J. (2007). Global warming and amphibian losses. Nature 447, 3–4.

Parra, G., Brown, R., Hanken, J., Hedges, B., Heyer, W.R., Kuzmin, S., Lavilla, E., Lötters, S., Pimenta, B., Richards, S.J., Rödel, M.O., de Sá, R.O. & Wake, D. (2007). Systematics and Conservation.  Pp. 45–48 In: Gascon, C., J P. Collins, R. D. Moore, D. R. Church, J. E. McKay & J. R. Mendelson III (Eds.) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 64pp.

Alford, R.A., Richards, S.J. & McDonald, K.R. (2007). Biodiversity of Amphibians.  In Levin, S. ed., Encyclopaedia of Biodiversity, second edition.  Academic Press.

Foufopolous, J. & Richards, S.J. (2007). Amphibians and reptiles of New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea: diversity and conservation status. Hamadryad 31, 176–201.

Hero, J.M., Morrison, C., Gillespie, G., Roberts, J.D., Newell, D., Meyer, E., McDonald, K., Lemckert, F., Mahony, M., Osborne, W., Hines, H., Richards, S.J., Hoskin, C., Clarke, J., Doak, N., & Shoo L. (2006). Overview of the conservation status of Australian Frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology 12, 313–320.

Richards, S.J., Alford, R. A. & Bradfield, K. S.  (2006). The great frog decline in Australasia: causes, developments and conservation. Pp. 241–252.  In Merrick, J. R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds). Evolution and Biogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Auscipub Pty Ltd., Sydney. 942 pp

Richards, S.J. & Alford, R.A. (2005). Structure and dynamics of a rainforest frog (Litoria genimaculata) population in northern Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 53, 229–236.

Richards, S.J. (2002). Rokrok: An illustrated guide to frogs of the Kikori Integrated Conservation and Development Project area (Moro, Gobe and Kopi), Papua New Guinea. WWF-South Pacific.

Alford, R.A. & Richards, S.J. (1999). Global amphibian declines: A problem in applied ecology. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 30,133–165.

Alford, R.A. & Richards, S.J. (1997). Lack of evidence for epidemic disease as an agent in the catastrophic decline of Australian rainforest frogs. Conservation Biology 11, 1026–1029.

Richards, S.J., Johnston, G.R. & Burton, T.C. (1994). A remarkable new asterophryine microhylid frog from the mountains of New Guinea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 37, 281–286.

Richards, S.J., Sinsch, U., & Alford, R.A. (1994) Radio tracking. p155–158 in Heyer, W., Donnelly, M.A., McDiarmid, R.W., Hayek, L.C. & Foster, M.S. (eds). Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Shaffer, H.B., Alford, R.A., Woodward, B.D., Richards, S.J., Altig, R. & Gascon, C. (1994). Quantitative sampling of amphibian larvae. p130–141 in Heyer, W., Donnelly, M.A., McDiarmid, R.W., Hayek, L.C. & Foster, M.S. (eds). Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.