Born this day (1/6):
George Ledyard Stebbins (Born 6 Jan 1906; died 19 Jan 2000). American geneticist who was one of the leading evolutionary biologists. Stebbins is considered one of the “architects” of the modern evolutionary synthesis of the 1930-40s (with Dobzhansky, animal systematist Ernst Mayr, and paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson ) Together, their work was a synthesis of research in cytology, genetics, systematics, paleontology. Stebbins created a modern framework for the study of plant evolution. From the 1940s, he artificially created fertile hybrids having more than twice the basic number of chromosomes (and was the first scientist to do so). This technique had value in both taxonomy and plant breeding.
Died this day (1/6):
Gregor Mendel (Died 6 Jan 1884; born 22 July 1822). Original name (until 1843) Johann Mendel. Austrian pioneer in the study of heredity. He spent his adult life with the Augustinian monastery in Brunn, where as a geneticist, botanist and plant experimenter, he was the first to lay the mathematical foundation of the science of genetics, in what came to be called Mendelism. Over the period 1856-63, Mendel grew and analyzed over 28,000 pea plants. He carefully studied for each their plant height, pod shape, pod color, flower position, seed color, seed shape and flower color. He made two very important generalizations from his pea experiments, known today as the Laws of Heredity. Mendel coined the present day terms in genetics: recessiveness and dominance.
The extent of Charles Darwin’s knowledge of Mendel by Andrew Sclater
Did Darwin have a copy of Mendel’s paper? (Robert McFetridge)