Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf

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Dr. Claus Ruhmkorrf is a fictional character in novel Ancestor by author Scott Sigler. He was the lead scientist on the Ancestor project that was being pursued by the Genada Corporation.

Character Background

Life Prior to Genada

Dr. Rhumkorrf’s initial success came while managing the Quagga project.

The project consisted of employing cloning techniques in order to bring the extinct quagga back from extinction. The project team was spearheaded by Dr. Rhumkorrf and included Dr. Erika Hoel as well as a team of talented scientists. As the quagga and the zebra were genetically identical, the team was able to successfully clone the quagga back into existence.

It was his success on this project that caught the attention of Genada’s CEO, Danté Paglione making it possible for Dr. Rhumkorrf to pitch his idea for the Ancestor project.

Genada Corporation Logo

In the Employ of Genada

Once on board at Genada heading the Ancestor project, Dr. Rhumkorff had Danté bring in Dr. Liu Jiandan. He had read all of Jian’s published work and made the mental connections that she could create the Ancestor creature with an artificial genome and alter the growth rate to bring the animal to life quickly. Being familiar with Dr. Hoel’s leading edge expertise in cloning large mammals in the Quagga project, he brought her in as the perfect parallel to Jian’s theoretical work. The scientific team was rounded out with assistant scientist Tim Feely.

While at the Baffin Island facility, the team was struggling to surpass the hurdle of increasing the embryo viability in the immune response tests. While Jian was on the verge of a breakthrough, Teyshawn received instructions from his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) superiors to raze the facility and stop the project. P.J. Colding stops Teyshawn from completing his mission and Magnus Paglione arrives to relocate the staff to the Black Manitou Island facility. Colding didn’t want to startle the scientists so he lies to them telling them that Teyshawn worked for the Genada competitor Monsanto and that his rampage was industrial sabotage. Dr. Rhumkorrf believed the ruse that Monsanto wanted to shut them down because they were ahead and this gives him the resolve to bolster the other two scientists to go on with their research.


Outward Appearance

Rhumkorrf was described as being a hair taller than Jian at approximately 5 feet 6 inches (167.64 cm) tall but also 100 pounds lighter than Jian. She was described as being 250 lbs (113 kgs), so the relationship would suggest that Dr. Rhumkorrf weighed approximately 150 pounds (60.04kgs). He was further described as wearing thick Buddy Holly looking glasses that magnified his brown eyes to “bug-like” proportions. Also, he was balding but tried to minimize attention to it by wearing a comb over.


Dr. Rhumkorrf was described as a brilliant man but he displayed few social skills. When things didn’t go his way, he often responded with an extreme amount of anger and rage.

Signs of his anger manifested themselves in his tendency for his whole body to vibrate or shake and his teeth clenching. These extreme reactions intimidated all of the scientific staff, including Tim who was a foot taller than Dr. Rhumkorrf and outweighed him by 100 pounds. Dr. Rhumkorrf treated Tim with particular disdain as he was, in the doctor’s eyes, not as gifted as Dr. Hoel or Jian. Dr. Rhumkorrf treated him like a child and would scream at Tim to not to talk back and to get out of “his” lab.

Colding was the one person who had the ability to calm Dr. Rhumkorrf down during his rages. Colding frequently played the mediator between Dr. Rhumkorff and Jian.

Dr. Hoel described Dr. Rhumkorrf as always wanting something he couldn’t have. This made him very successful in his professional life, but it also caused strife in his personal life. While working on the Quagga project, he and Dr. Hoel engaged in a relationship with each other. All he wanted was for Dr. Hoel to love only him. However, when he walked in on her and Galina Poriskova, another female scientist, making love he realized that she was bisexual. Rhumkorrf considered her an unfaithful blasphemer but being the consummate professional, he didn’t take her of the project and he didn’t let it interfere with his goal of bringing the quagga genome back to life. Instead, he pretended he didn’t care that she was unfaithful by never mentioning the incident and never changing how he acted around her. But deep down inside, he had never forgiven her despite her apologies, attempts to reason with him and pleas for forgiveness. He had not forgiven her until it was too late.


Dr. Rhumkorrf was highly regarded for his ability to produce results by making the connections that enable the amalgamation of two disparate disciplines to create something new. While spearheading the Quagga project, Dr. Rhumkorrf conceived the Ancestor project, recruited Dr. Hoel] for her ability to successfully clone a species back from extinction, and married that information with Jian’s ability to recover lost genomes and understand genetic coding with extreme intimacy.

Dr. Rhumkorrf also had the ability to pilot a Eurocopter EC 145 eight passenger helicopter. While stationed at the Genada Baffin Island facility, he frequently took the helicopter for joyrides as a form of blowing off steam.

See Also