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Steve Goodman

Researchers and adventurers

In their camp set up deep in the forest, researchers analyze data they’ve gathered on their expedition.

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Steve Goodman

Arts and biology background

Steve Goodman was born in the U.S. city of Detroit. When he was 13, his father bought a farm in the country, so the young Steve often spent his weekends in the woods. This period of his life helped nurture his passion for nature and the outdoors.

After studying the arts at university, he switched over to biology. In 1987, he arrived in Madagascar to take part in an environmental impact study for a Canadian mining firm. He soon fell in love with the country and its people.

He also quickly discovered the relative lack of catalogues describing the island’s amazingly diverse flora and fauna. He decide to take up the challenge and founded the research group Vahatra, which means “roots” in the Malagasy language.

The search for new species

Since arriving in Madagascar, Goodman has conducted numerous research missions in the field. Expeditions can last several days. Most of the time, Steve is accompanied by other researchers, students and research assistants. Their method is always the same: after setting up base camp and a rudimentary laboratory, the group goes off into the forest to set traps.

At night, the researchers comb through the forest, equipped with headlamps, looking for nocturnal species such as bats or mouse lemurs, tiny primates weighing barely 60 grams. During the last 20 years, researchers from Vahatra have discovered more than 250 species of animals and plants native to Madagascar. According to Steve Goodman, many more remain to be discovered.

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