Gregor Mendel: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Gregor Mendel.

  • Gregor Mendel was a 19th century Augustinian monk and scientist.
  • He is famous for his plant experiments which helped to establish some of the now accepted laws of heredity.
  • Mendel was born in July, 1822 on his family’s Austrian farm (although its location is now within the borders of the Czech Republic).
  • He did well at school and university, where he studied mathematics and physics. He made extra money from tutoring.
  • Mendel graduated from university in 1843, despite abandoning his studies several times because of depression. Against his family’s wishes, he studied to be a monk.

Gregor Mendel

  • In 1854, Mendel began studying hereditary features in plants. Looking at pea plants, he concluded that all living things, including humans, passed on their characteristics to their children in predictable ways.
  • Gregor Mendel also experimented on mice and bees. He referred to the bees as his ‘dearest little animals’, although the other monks found them annoying and asked him to get rid of them.
  • Mendel grew and tested almost 30,000 pea plants during 8 years of research. The results of his work were criticized at the time, but are now considered to be very important.
  • Mendel came up with the terms recessive and dominant, to describe types of genes that are passed down through generations. He published his work in 1866, although, at the time, it did not attract much attention.
  • He founded the Austrian Meteorological Society in 1865, and studied astronomy and the weather. Many of his scientific ideas were not widely accepted until after his death.
  • Gregor Mendel died in January, 1884 at his monastery in the Czech Republic. The Abbot who replaced Mendel burned many of his research papers to try to avoid arguments over taxes.
  • In 1900, several other scientists found his 1866 research papers and verified much of it was accurate. A lot of the research carried out into genetics and DNA over the next few decades was because of Mendel’s work.

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