Personal profile

Administrative Posts

  • Vice Chancellor
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor


Professor David J Richardson is a bacterial biochemist who has used a range of disciplines to unravel respiratory processes of anaerobic bacteria from both soils and marine environments and the human gastro-intestinal tract. His work has revealed the great adaptive flexibility of highly branched pathways of respiratory chains by the isolation, structural characterisation and functional analysis of their enzymes and electron transfer proteins. His work on the nitrogen cycle as well as the mechanisms by which bacteria use insoluble extracellular minerals as respiratory electron acceptors is now showing major impacts in environmental and climate science, industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. Richardson’s contributions have been recognised by the award of the Society for General Microbiology Fleming Medal (1999), a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Fellowship (2008-2013), and by appointment to the Council of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (2012). He has published >200 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited more than 9000 times. His research currently has an H-index of 54 (Google Scholar, October 2013).



  • From September 2014 Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia
  • From August 2012 Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of East Anglia
  • From August 2011 Pro-Vice Chancellor, Enterprise & Engagement, University of East Anglia
  • Jan 2008-July 2011 Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, University of East Anglia
  • Aug 2004-Dec 2007 Associate Dean, Faculty of Science, University of East Anglia
  • June 2001-present Professor of Microbial Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences,
  • University of East Anglia
  • Oct 1998-June 2001 Reader, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • June 1991-Oct 1998 Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • Oct 1988-May 1991 Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford


Key Research Interests

  • Respiratory flexibility in Bacteria
  • Electron transfer at microbe-mineral interfaces
  • New approaches to studies of the nitrogen cycle in wastewater treatment plants
  • Biochemistry, genetics, and molecular ecology of bacterial denitrification
  • The regulation of bacterial nitrous oxide production
  • Novel methods for second generation bioalcohol production
  • Nitric oxide metabolism in pathogens and leguminous root nodules
  • Bacterial semi-conductor mediated photocatalysis
  • Enzyme based biosensors for nitrogen oxides and nitrogen oxyanions
  • Microbial electrocatalysis

Areas of Expertise

Physiology and genetics of microbial denitrification and iron reduction; development of optical biosensors.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or