Paul Richards is currently Professor of Technology and Agrarian Development at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He was a member of the Department of Anthropology at the University College of London (UCL) for 20 years from 1979 (Head of Department 1989-1992, Professor from 1992). While in UCL, he specialised in ecological anthropology, technology studies and West African ethnography.
His main fieldwork focus was on Sierra Leone, and included studies of Mende village rice farming systems and forest conservation on the Liberian border. He continued to work on and in Sierra Leone during the period of the civil war (1992-2002) and has written extensively on that conflict, and on the anthropology of modern armed conflicts more generally.