Galen Rathbun

  • Fellow and Research Associate, Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy
  • PhD

Galen’s research has focused on the behavioral ecology of vertebrates, conservation biology of declining species, mammalian taxonomy, and phylogeography. Although most of his career focused on Florida manatee and California sea otter research, his recent research includes understanding the basic life history of California red-legged frogs and Pacific pond turtles, the impacts of cattle grazing on a community of small mammals in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and the evolution of monogamy using elephant-shrews (sengis) and dassie-rats (nokis) in Namibia (southwestern Africa) as models. Currently, he is exploring the taxonomy and phylogeography of sengis in collaboration with several colleagues.

 

Focal Study Species

Florida manatee cow and calf, Crystal River, Florida

Trichechus manatus latirostris

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 85, 87, 89

 


 

California sea otter raft, Morro Bay, California

Enhyrda lutris nereis

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 88

 


 

San Joaquin antelope squirrel with radio-collar, Carrizo Plain (San Joaquin Desert), California

Ammospermophilus nelsoni

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 99, 124, 128

 


 

California red-legged frog, Point Piedras Blancas, California

Rana draytonii

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 91, 94, 111, 129

 


 

 

Pacific pond turtle, Santa Rosa Creek, Cambria, California

Actinemys marmorata

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 97, 117, 118

 


 

Noki or Dassie-rat, Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy, Omaruru, Namibia

Petromus typicus

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 104, 107, 110

 


 

Bushvelt sengi or elephant-shrew, Zwartmodder Farm, Maltahohe, Namibia

Elephantulus intufi

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 102, 105, 112, 119, 123

 


 

Black mongoose, Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy, Omaruru, Namibia

Galerella nigrata

Photo © R. Fussell

Publication numbers 100, 101, 116

 


 

 

Namib Desert golden mole, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namib Desert, Namibia

Eremitalpa granti namibensis

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 106, 109

 


 

Gray-faced sengi or elephant-shrew, Ndundulu Forest, Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania

Rhynchocyon udzungwensis

Photo © F. Rovero

Recent publication numbers 108, 114, 121, 126, 132, 133

 


 

Namib round-eared sengi or elephant-shrew, Wlotzkasbaken, Namib Desert, Namibia

Macroscelides flavicaudatus

Photo © G. Rathbun

Recent publication numbers 120, 127

 

 


Dr. Samuel Andanje, Ecological Monitoring Program of the Kenya Wildlife Service, in the Boni Forest of northern coastal Kenya.  Status of sengis in Kenya, especially the genus Rhynchocyon

 

 

 


  • Peter Coals in the Goboboseb Mountains of northwestern Namibia, habitat of Macroscelides sp.

  • Distribution of sengis in Mozambique and Namibia.

     


     

 

 

  • Dr. Jack Dumbacher and Galen Rathbun on Windpoort Farm, northern Namiba, Africa.  Taxonomy and phylogeography of sengis, especially the genus Macroscelides.

Dr. David Germano in the San Joaquin Desert, Kern County, California.  Population ecology of Pacific pond turtles and impacts of livestock grazing on threatened vertebrates.

 



Seth Eiseb, Curator of Mammal at the National Museum of Namibia, processing a rodent at Popa Falls, Namibia. Taxonomy and ecology of mammals, including Macroscelides sengis.

 


Tim Osborne trapping Macroscelides in the Etendeka volcanics of northwestern Namibia.  Status of Macroscelides in southwestern Africa.  California Academy of Sciences Field Associate and owner of Windpoort Farm and Tandala Ridge Lodge, Namibia 

 

 


  • Lynn Rathbun, spouse and field associate, in the Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa.  Behavioral ecology of small mammals in Namibia, when not pursuing her art.

 

 


  • Dr. Francesco Rovero and Mr. Ruben Mwakisoma in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania.
  • Behavioral ecology, phylogeography, and status of the giant sengi Rhynchocyon udzungwensis

 


Dr. Norman Scott in pond, San Luis Obispo County, California.  Ecology of California red-legged frogs and Pacific pond turtles.

amphibscott[at]gmail.com

 


Dr. Hanneline Smit in the High Karoo, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.  Taxonomy and phylogeography of sengis, especially Macroscelides and Rhynchocyon.

 

DEGREES AND AFFILIATION

B.S., Zoology, Humboldt State University, Arcata,CA

Ph.D., Zoology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Scientist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey

Honorary Fellow and Research Associate, Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences

 

Galen received his undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University (California) and then served in the Peace Corps in Kenya for 5 years as a secondary school science teacher and museum education officer. He then received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Nairobi in Kenya in 1976 followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park. Most of his career was as a federal research biologist and project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Florida manatee and California sea otter programs. In addition to his affiliation with the Academy, he is a Scientist Emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey. As the founding Chair of the Afrotheria Specialist Group of the IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Galen remains active in conservation biology.

Galen has produced over 120 professional and popular publications (1963-1999 citations).  Those published since 2000 and associated with the Academy include the following:

85.  Morales-Vela, B., D. Olivera-Gómez, J.E. Reynolds III, and G.B. Rathbun. 2000. Distribution and Habitat use by Manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Belize and Chetumal Bay, Mexico. Biological Conservation 95:67-75. 892 KB PDF

86.  Rathbun, G.B., and S.N. Kyalo. 2000. Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, Pages 125-129, 340-341 in R.P. Reading and B. Miller (eds.), Endangered Animals, A Reference Guide to Conflicting Issues. Greenwood Press., Westport, Connecticut. 383 pp. 3.5 MB PDF

87.  Rathbun, G.B., and R.L. Wallace. 2000. Florida Manatee, Pages 107-111, 337-338 in R.P. Reading and B. Miller (eds.), Endangered Animals, A Reference Guide to Conflicting Issues. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut. 383 pp. 3.5 MB PDF

88.  Rathbun, G., B.B. Hatfield, and T.G. Murphey. 2000. Status of translocated Sea Otters at San Nicolas Island, California. Southwestern Naturalist 45:322-328. 600 KB PDF

89.  Lefebvre, L.W., M. Marmontel, J. Reid, G.B. Rathbun, and D. Domning. 2001. Status and Biogeography of the West Indian Manatee, Pages 425-474 in C.A. Woods and F.E. Sergile (eds.), Biogeography of the West Indies: past, present and future. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. 582 pp. 4.4 MB PDF

90.  Germano, D.M., G.B. Rathbun, and L.R. Saslaw. 2001. Managing exotic grasses and conserving declining species. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:551-559. 2.2 MB PDF

91.  Fellers, G.M., A. Launer, G.B. Rathbun, S. Bobzien, J. Alvarez, D. Sterner, R.B. Seymour, and M. Westphal. 2001. Overwintering tadpoles in the California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii). Herpetological Review 32:156-157. 220 KB PDF

92.  Rathbun, G.B. 2001. Elephant Shrews, Pages 716-721 in D. Macdonald (ed.), The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, New York. 930 pp. 1.1 MB PDF

93.  Jennings, M.R., and G.B. Rathbun. 2001. Petrodromus tetradactylus. Mammalian Species 782:1-6. 264 KB PDF

94.  Rathbun, G.B., and J. Schneider. 2001. Translocation of California red-legged frogs (Rana aurora draytoniiI). Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:1300-1303. 792 KB PDF

95.  Anderson, P.K., J.M. Packard, G.B. Rathbun, D.P.Domning, and R. Best.  2001.  Dugong and manatees.  Pp.279-287 in Macdonald, D. (ed.).  The New Encyclopedia of Mammals.  Oxford Uniersity Press, New York.  930 pp.  1.2 MB PDF

96.  Rathbun, G.B., and P.F. Woodall. 2002. A bibliography of Elephant-shrews or Sengis (Macroscelidea). Mammal Review 32:66-70. 176 KB PDF

97.  Rathbun, G.B., N.J. Scott Jr., and T.G. Murphey. 2002. Terrestrial habitat use by Pacific pond turtles in a Mediterranean climate. Southwestern Naturalist 47:225-235. 3.6 MB PDF

98.  Rathbun, G.B., and L. Rathbun, (EDS.). 2002. Tales from the Cambria Woods - A collection of Essays About Our Forest. The Cambria Forest Committee, Cambria, California. 51 pp.

99.  Rathbun, G.B., and D. Ribble. 2003. Does the Golden-rumped Sengi (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) occur in coastal Tanzania? Afrotherian Conservation – Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 2:6. 148 KB PDF

100.  Rathbun, G. 2004. The Shadow Hunter. Africa Geographic Magazine (February 2004) 12(1):18-19. 452 KB PDF

101.  Rathbun, G.B., T. Cowley, and O. Zapke. 2005. Black mongoose (Galerella nigrata) home range and social behaviour affected by abundant food at an antelope carcass. African Zoology 40:154-157. 208 KB PDF

102.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2005. Does the Cape Sengi (Elephantulus edwardii) occur in Namibia? Afrotherian Conservation – Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 3:5-6. 968 KB PDF

103.  Rathbun, G.B. (Sub-Editor) 2005 . Order Macroscelidea, Pages 22-34 in J.D. Skinner and C.T. Chimimba (eds.), The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. Cambridge University Press, Cape Town, South Africa. 814 pp. 5.3 MB PDF

104.  Rathbun, G., and C.D. Rathbun. 2005. Noki or dassie-rat (Petromus typicus) feeding ecology and petrophily. Belgian Journal of Zoology 135 (supplement):69-75. 428 KB PDF

105.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2006. Social structure of the bushveld sengi (Elephantulus intufi) in Namibia and the evolution of monogamy in the Macroscelidea. Journal of Zoology 269:391-399. 324 KB PDF

106.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2006. Radio-tracking Namib Desert Golden Moles. Afrotherian Conservation - Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 4:5-6. 420 KB PDF

107.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2006. Social monogamy in the Noki or Dassie-rat (Petromus typicus) in Namibia. Mammalian Biology 71:203-213. 200 KB PDF

108.  Rovero, F., and G.B. Rathbun. 2006. A potentially new giant sengi (elephant-shrew) from the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. Journal of East African Natural History 95:111-115. 332 KB PDF

109.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2006. Habitat use by radio-tagged Namib Desert golden moles (Eremitalpa granti namibensis). African Journal of Ecology 45:196-201. 460 KB PDF

110.  Rathbun, G.B., and C.D. Rathbun. 2006. Sheltering, basking, and petrophily in the Noki or Dassie-rat (Petromus typicus) in Namibia. Mammalia 2006:269-275. 260 KB PDF

111.  Hayes, M.P., M.R. Jennings, and G. Rathbun. 2006. Rana draytonii (California Red-legged Frog) Prey. Herpetological Review 37:449. 16 KB PDF

112.  Rathbun, G.B., and J. Kingdon. 2006. The etymology of “SENGIS". Afrotherian Conservation - Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 4:14-15. 45 KB PDF

113.  Rathbun, G., and L.B. Lackey. 2007. A brief graphical history of sengis in captivity. Afrotherian Conservation - Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 5:7-8. 264 KB PDF

114.  Rovero, F., G.B. Rathbun, A. Perkin, T. Jones, D.O. Ribble, C. Leonard, R.R. Mwakisoma, and N. Doggart. 2008. A new species of giant sengi or elephant-shrew (genus Rhynchocyon) highlights the exceptional biodiversity of the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. Journal of Zoology 274:126-133. 548 KB PDF

115.  Schipper, J. [...] G.B. Rathbun, et al. 2008. The status of the world’s land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge. Science 322:225-230. 5.2 MB PDF

116.  Rathbun, G.B., and T.E. Cowley. 2008. Behavioural ecology of the black mongoose (Galerella nigrata) in Namibia. Mammalian Biology 73:444-450. 288 KB PDF

117.  Scott, N.J., G.B. Rathbun, T.G. Murphey, and M.B. Harker. 2008. Reproduction of Pacific Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) in coastal streams of central California. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 3(2):143-148. 156 KB PDF

118.  Germano, D.J., and G.B. Rathbun. 2008. Growth, Population Structure, and Reproduction of Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) on the Central Coast of California. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 7(2):188-194. 224 KB PDF

119.  Rathbun, G.B. 2008. Tales of sengi tails. Afrotherian Conservation – Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 6:8-10. 538 KB PDF

120.  Rathbun, G.B. 2009. Why is there discordant diversity in sengi (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Macroscelidea) taxonomy and ecology? African Journal of Ecology 47:1-13. 839 KB PDF

121.  Andanje, S., B.R. Agwanda, G.W. Ngaruiya, R. Amin, and G.B. Rathbun.  2010.  Sengi (elephant-shrew) observations from northern coastal Kenya.  Journal of East African Natural History 99(1): 1-8.  409 KB PDF

122.  Hoffmann, M., […...], G.B. Rathbun, et al. 2010. The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates. Science 330:1503-1509. 885 KB PDF

123.  Nyari, A. S., A. T. Peterson, and G. B. Rathbun. 2010. Late Pleistocene potential distribution of the North African sengi or elephant-shrew Elephantulus rozeti (Mammalia: Macroscelidea). African Zoology 45:330-339. 1.6 MB PDF

124.  Germano, D. J., G. B. Rathbun, L. R. Saslaw, B. L. Cypher, E. A. Cypher, and L. M. Vredenburgh.  2011.  The San Joaquin Desert of California: ecologically misunderstood and overlooked.  Natural Areas Journal 31(2):138-147  4.9 MB PDF

125.  Rathbun, G. B.  2011.  Aardvark hunt in Kenya (photo essay).  Afrotherian Conservation-Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group  8 (June 2011):13-14.  0.9 MB PDF

126.  Amin, R., G.B. Rathbun, and S Andanje.  2011.  Conservation concerns for Afrotheria in northern coastal Kenya.  Afrotherian Conservation-Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 8 (June 2011):15-16.  1.2 MB PDF

127.  Dumbacher, J.P., G.B. Rathbun, H.A. Smit, and S.J. Eiseb.  2012.  Phylogeny and taxonomy of the round-eared sengis or elephant-shrews, genus Macroscelides (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Macroscelidea).  PLoS ONE 7(3):e32410 (12 pp + 4 pp. supplement table). 630 KB PDF and  130 KB PDF (suppl)

128. Germano, D.J., G.B. Rathbun, and L.R. Saslaw. 2012.   Effects of grazing and invasive grasses on desert vertebrtes in California.  Journal of Wildlife Management 76(4):670-682. 370 KB PDF

129. Rathbun, G.B.  2012.  Water temperatures in a California Red-legged Frog breeding pond.  Immediate Science Ecology 1:7-11. 625 KB PDF

130.  Kingdon, J., E. R. Seiffert, B. Hedges, and G. Rathbun. 2013. Species Account: Supercohort Afrotheria. Pp. 143-146 in Kingdon, J. S., Happold, D. C. D.,  Hoffmann, M., Butynski, T.M., Happold, T, and Kalina, J. (eds.), Mammals of Africa, Vol. 1. Bloomsbury Publishing, London. 1.2 MB PDF

131.  Perrin, M. and G. Rathbun. 2013. Species Accounts: Order Macroscelidea, Family Macroscelididae, Genus Elephantulus, E. edwardii; E. intufi; E. myurus; E. rozeti; E. rufescens, Genus Macroscelides, M. proboscideus. Pp. 261-278 in Kingdon, J. S., Happold, D. C. D.,  Hoffmann, M., Butynski, T.M., Happold, T, and Kalina, J. (eds.), Mammals of Africa, Vol. 1. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.  7.7 MB PDF

132.  Rathbun, G. B. 2013. Species Accounts: Genus Petrodromus; P. tetradactylus; Genus Rhynchocyon; R. cirnei, R. chrysopygus, R. petersi. Pp. 279-287 in Kingdon, J. S., Happold, D. C. D.,  Hoffmann, M., Butynski, T.M., Happold, T, and Kalina, J. (eds.), Mammals of Africa, Vol. 1. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.  7.7 MB PDF

133.  Coals, P.G.R. and G.B. Rathbun.  2013.  Taxonomic status of giant sengis (genus Rhynchocyon) in Mozambique.  Journal of East African Natural History 101:241-250 (2012).  1.7 MB PDF

 

Contact

Galen Rathbun

California Academy of Sciences

c/o PO Box 202

Cambria, California 93428

USA

grathbun@calacademy.org

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