Dr. Carsten Schradin, Director of the Succulent Karoo Research Station

See me explaining my work in a short video


Dr. Carsten Schradin did his diploma in Munich, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Seewiesen. Here he worked on the proximate and ultimate reasons of the establishment of polygynous groups in a shell dwelling cichlid fish (Neolamprologus multifasciatus). From 1997 to 2001 he did his PhD at the Anthropological Institute at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He studied paternal care in New World monkeys, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and the Goeldi`s monkey (Callimico goeldii), which resulted in 7 scientific publications. Realizing that paternal care is a highly interesting topic, but primates are an expensive study system with the hassle of achieving high enough sample sizes for firm scientific conclusions (especially in the field), he was looking for a rodent species that had a similar social system as New World callitrichid primates. There was some indication that the striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) might be a species with extensive paternal care, which is why he went for a one year postdoc to South Africa in 2001, working at the University of the Witwatersrand. It became evident that this species is in fact highly paternal. Furthermore, in Goegap he found a study site where this species could be observed directly in the field. This is possible as the striped mouse is diurnal, i.e. active during the day, and the vegetation in Goegap is very open. The studies on the striped mouse are continuing since 2001 and this species has been established as an ideal model to study paternal care, reasons for group living and social flexibility. From 2006 to 2012 Dr. Carsten Schradin had his own research group at the University of Zurich but continuedus to visit Goegap every year for several months. In November 2008 he got his habilitation from the University of Zurich. Since October 2012 he is working for the CNRS in Strasbourg, France. Here he got a permanent research position to continue the striped mouse project until 2038. He is also a honorary professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Brigitte Schradin

Brigitte Schradin (born Britz) grew up in Namaqualand, South Africa. As a registered nurse, she worked for one year as the medic of the research station on Gough Island in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America (2001-2002). Afterwards she went for two years to Australia, before she came back to Namaqualand in 2004. She was then living for two years at the research station, not only being of crucial help in a medical emergency (which luckily never occured), but also helping with all aspects of the scientific project, such as observing, trapping and radio-tracking mice. 2006 - 2012 she lived in Zurich (Switzerland) and since 2012 in Kehl, the German town opposite of Strasbourg. She comes back to Namaqualand nearly every year.

Apollo Hartmut Schradin

Born the 19th of March 2006, he was from the beginning exposed to the striped mice and other wonders of Namaqualand. He visted Goegap in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Zora Elary Schradin

Born the 09.09.9, she was from the beginning exposed to the striped mice and other wonders of Namaqualand. She visted Goegap the first time when 6 weeks old in 2009, and since then she came back in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015.





August 2015

February 2014


Apollo and Zora in Goegap August 2013.

Apollo and Zora in May 2011.

The easter bunny visisted Apollo and Zora in April 2011 in Goegap.

Apollo and Zora 2009 in Goegap.