David P. Richardson

Photo of David P. Richardson

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus

At Williams since 1986

Areas of Expertise

Natural products isolation and structure determination; Chemical ecology; Organic synthesis; Environmental pollutant analysis. Nature is a superb organic chemist. While taking care of the day-to-day business of being alive, living systems deftly assemble organic molecules of incredible complexity and subtle beauty. My research involves synthesis, isolation and characterization of naturally-occurring substances, particularly those with interesting biological activity. Current areas of study involve toxic agents from Southeast Asian dart poisons, allelopathic agents from local plants, the analysis of PCB contamination in the Hoosic River watershed and perchlorate contamination in local watertables, and the analysis of heterocylic organic molecules by 15N-NMR spectroscopy, and the synthesis of deuterofluorocarbons.

Scholarship/Creative Work

Selected Publications
  • "Stereoselective Synthesis of Either (±)-exo- or (±)-endo-Brevicomin via Hydride Reduction of a 2-Acylpyranyl Intermediate," David P. Richardson, Whitney Wilson,* Rebecca J. Mattson,* and Dawn M. Powers,* J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, Perkin Communications, 1990, 2857.
  • "Stereoselective Synthesis of the Paeonilactones A, B and C," David P. Richardson, Thomas E. Smith,* William W. Lin,* Cynthia N. Kiser,* and Brian R. Mahon,* Tetrahedron Lett., 1990, 31, 5973.
  • "Identification and Preparation of Antiinsectan Dienols from Dipterocarpus kerrii Tree Resins," David P. Richardson, Adam C. Messer, Blair A. Newton,* and Neal I. Lindeman,* J. Chem. Ecol., 1991, 17, 663.
  • "Purification and Characterization of Ornithine Transcarbamylase form Pea (Pisumsativum L.)," Robert.D. Slocum and David P. Richardson, Plant Physiology, 1991, 96, 262.
  • "Discovering Stereoselectivity: Synthesis of exo- and endo-Brevicomin Using a Tunable Metal Hydride Reduction," David P. Richardson, Whitney Wilson,* Rebecca J. Mattson,* Dawn M. Powers,* and Brian T. Dolan,* J. Chem. Educ., 1991, 68, 951.
  • "15N NMR Spectra of Carbolines," J. Hodge Markgraf, David P. Richardson, and Robert C. Livingston,* Magn. Reson. Chem., 1993, 31, 694.
  • "Stereoselective Synthesis of 7R-Paeonimetaboline-I; Stereoselective Route Towards Paeoniflorigenone," David P. Richardson, Priscilla W. Carr,* Jared N. Cumming,* Warren G. Harbison,* Nina D. Raoof,* Michelle S. Sanders,* Eliza Shin,* Thomas E. Smith,* and Thomas H. Wintner,* Tetrahedron Lett., 1997, 38, 3817.
  • "Toxicarioside A. A New Cardenolide Isolated from Antiaris toxicaria Latex-Derived Dart Poison. Assignment of the 1H- and 13C-NMR Shifts for an Antiarigenin Aglycone," Christine A. Carter,* Robert W. Forney,* Elizabeth A. Gray,* Amy M. Gehring,* Tanya L. Schneider,* David B. Young,* Charles M. Lovett, Jr., Lincoln Scott, Adam C. Messer, and David P. Richardson, Tetrahedron, 1997, 53, 13557.
  • "Toxicarioside B and Toxicarioside C. New Cardenolides Isolated from Antiaris toxicaria Latex-Derived Dart Poison," Christine A. Carter,* Elizabeth A. Gray,* Tanya L. Schneider,* Charles M. Lovett, Jr., Lincoln Scott, Adam C. Messer, and David P. Richardson, Tetrahedron , 1997, 53, 16959.
  • "A Snapshot of PCB Levels in Hoosic River Sediments, Crayfish and Brown Trout in the Tri-State Area," Elaine K. Denny*, Analia Sorribas*, and David P. Richardson, Northeastern Geology and Environmental Science, 2005, 27, 276-294.
  • "Substituent effects on 15N and 13C NMR chemical shifts of 3-phenylisoxazoles: a theoretical and spectroscopic study," Mark H. Schofield, Marie-Adele Sorel*, Ryan J. Manalansan*, David P. Richardson, and J. Hodge Markgraf, Magn. Reson. Chem., 2006, 44, 851-855.
  • "Substituent effects on 15N and 13C NMR chemical shifts of 5-phenyl-1,3,4-oxathiazol-2-ones: a theoretical and spectroscopic study," J. Hodge Markgraf, Lu Hong*, David P. Richardson, and Mark H. Schofield, Magn. Reson. Chem., 2007, 45, 985-988.
  • "Lecture Demonstrations of Fluorescence and Phosphorescence," David P. Richardson and Raymond Chang, Chem. Educator, 2007, 12, 279-281.
  • "Acylation, Diastereoselective Alkylation, and Cleavage of an Oxazolidinone Chiral Auxiliary: A Multistep Asymmetric Synthesis Experiment for Advanced Undergraduates," Thomas E. Smith, David P. Richardson, George A. Truran, Katherine Belecki*, and Megumi Onishi*, J. Chem. Educ., 2008, 85, 695-697.
*Undergraduate co-author

Previous Courses Taught

  • CHEM 156: Organic Chemistry: Introductory Level
  • CHEM 251: Organic Chemistry: Intermediate Level
  • CHEM 255: Organic Chemistry: Intermediate Level - Special Lab (Ford Course)
  • CHEM 341: Toxicology and Cancer
  • CHEM 342: Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Former Members of the Richardson Lab

Katherine Ackerman '08 Karelle Aiken '00 Susan O. Asiyanbi '01 Samantha Barbaro '09 Peta-Gaye Burnett '03 Priscilla W. Carr '95 Helen Cha '11 Austin Chang '99 Jared N. Cumming '92 Albert Dang '99 Elaine Denny '04 Marshall Dines '03 Jude Dumfeh '04 Robert W. Forney '92 Edith C. Glazer '96 Elizabeth A. Gray '95 Avalon Gulley '09 Warren Harbison '95 Ryan Hayman '01 Tracey Jackson '02 Cynthia Kiser '87 William Lin '89 Neal Lindeman '90 Matthew Luedke '02 Brian Mahon '86 Rebecca Mattson '90 Jen Menzies '07 Katy Miyamoto '01 Manuel Moutinho '07 Blair Newton '89 Prosper Nwankpa '04 Shirish Poudyal '10 Dawn Powers '89 Nina D. Raoof '94 Nicholas Reynolds '09 Michelle Sanders '91 Joel Schmid '03 Tanya Schneider '94 Katy Schorling '01 Eliza Shin '91 Yuji Shinozaki '88 Thomas Smith '88 Analia Sorribas '06 Alison Stewart '03 Daniel Suess '07 John Symanski '06 Christopher Thom '06 Elizabeth Upton '08 Cale Weatherly '09 Whitney Wilson '90 Taylor Wilson-Hill '09 Thomas H. Wintner '93 David B. Young '93