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Gregor Johann Mendel


Gregor Johann Mendel (1822 - 1884) was an Augustinian monk, botanist and Austrian meteorologist.

He was born in the Troppau region of Silesia, which then belonged to Austria, and was baptized on July 22, which is often confused with his date of birth, coming from a family of humble peasants. In his childhood he was very intelligent; At home I used to observe and study the plants. Being a brilliant student, his family encouraged him to pursue higher education, and later at age 21 to enter a monastery of the Order of St. Augustine in 1843 (now Brno, Czech Republic) because they could not afford the cost of studies. Obeying the custom of becoming a monk, he opted for another name: "Gregor." Here Mendel was in charge of the supervision of the monastery gardens.

He also studied for two years at the Olmutz Institute of Philosophy (today Olomouc, Czech Republic) and at the University of Vienna (1851-1853). From 1843 to 1854 he became a professor of natural sciences at Brno High School, devoted to the study of the crossing of many species: beans, chicory, dragon's mouths, fruit plants, bees, mice, and especially garden-grown peas. from the monastery where he lived analyzing the results mathematically for about seven years. Gregor Mendel, "the father of genetics", As is well known, he was inspired by both the teachers and colleagues of the monastery who pressed him to study the variation in plant appearance. He proposed that the existence of characteristics (such as color) of flowers is due to the existence of a pair of elementary heredity units, now known as genes.

But not only was Mendel interested in plants, he was also a meteorologist and studied evolutionary theories. Throughout his life he was a member, director and founder of many local societies: director of the Bank of Moravia, founder of the Austrian Meteorological Association, member of the Royal and Imperial Moravian and Silesian Society for better agriculture, among others. During his lifetime, Mendel published two now classic works: "Hybrid Plant Essays" (Versuche uber Planzenhybriden), which did not cover more than 30 printed pages and "Hieracies obtained by artificial fertilization". In 1865, he formulates and presents in two meetings of the Brno Natural History Society the laws of heredity, today called Mendel's Laws, governing the transmission of hereditary characters. After 1868 his administrative duties kept him so busy that he could not continue his research, living the rest of his life in relative obscurity.

He died on 6 January 1884 in Brno, in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the Czech Republic, of chronic kidney disease; a man ahead of his time but ignored all his life.