biology

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg – Father of Micropaleontology

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg – Father of Micropaleontology

On April 19, 1795, German naturalist, zoologist, comparative anatomist, geologist, and microscopist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was born. Ehrenberg was one of the most famous and productive scientists of his time. He has been called the founder of micropaleontology (the study of fossil microorganisms). He held that animals, of any size down to the tiniest, have organ systems in common, including muscles, reproductive organs, and stomachs. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg studied theology at the…
Walter S. Sutton and the Chromosomes

Walter S. Sutton and the Chromosomes

On April 5, 1877, American geneticist and physician Walter Stanborough Sutton was born. Sutton’s most significant contribution to present-day biology was his theory that the Mendelian laws of inheritance could be applied to chromosomes at the cellular level of living organisms. This is now known as the Boveri-Sutton chromosome theory. He furthermore provided the first conclusive evidence that chromosomes carry the units of inheritance and occur in distinct pairs. Walter…
Katherine Esau and the Anatomy of Plants

Katherine Esau and the Anatomy of Plants

On April 3, 1898, German-American botanist Katherine Esau was born. Esau did groundbreaking work in the structure and workings of plants. She is best known for her research into the effects of viruses upon plant tissues, and her studies of plant tissue structures and physiology. Katherine Esau first started studying agriculture in Moscow, but after a year her family was prompted by the Bolshevik Revolution to move to Germany where she…
Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

On March 26, 1941, English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins was born. Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism’s body, but can stretch…
Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

On March 25, 1914, American biologist and humanitarian Norman Ernest Borlaug was born. Borlaug led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution and has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution“, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa, USA, the eldest…
Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

On March 20, 1955, English bacteriologist Frederick William Twort passed away. Twort was the original discoverer in 1915 of bacteriophages, i.e. viruses that infect bacteria. He researched into Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal infection of cattle, and also discovered that vitamin K is needed by growing leprosy bacteria. Frederick William Twort initially only received a limited education, but managed to go to London in order to study medicine  at the local St Thomas’s…
Entomologist and Myrmecologist William Morton Wheeler

Entomologist and Myrmecologist William Morton Wheeler

On March 19, 1865, American entomologist William Morton Wheeler was born. Wheeler published extensively on the classification, structure and behaviour of ants, on which he was a recognized world authority. Wheeler also wrote on problems of embryology, evolution, parasitism and the social life of animals in general. William Morton Wheeler was sent to a local German academy known for its discipline during his school years due to his bad behavior and after…
Marcello Malpighi and Microscopic Anatomy

Marcello Malpighi and Microscopic Anatomy

On March 10, 1628, Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi was born. Malpighi is referred to as the “Father of microscopical anatomy, histology, physiology and embryology“. In developing experimental methods to study living things, Malpighi founded the science of microscopic anatomy. After Malpighi‘s researches, microscopic anatomy became a prerequisite for advances in the fields of physiology, embryology, and practical medicine. Marcello Malpighi was born at Crevalcore near Bologna, Italy, the…
Wilhelm Pfeffer and Plant Physiology

Wilhelm Pfeffer and Plant Physiology

On March 9, 1845, German botanist and plant physiologist Wilhelm Pfeffer was born. Pfeffer’s work on osmotic pressure made him a pioneer in the study of plant physiology. With Julius von Sachs, he was a leader in systematizing the fundamentals of plant physiology. Wilhelm Pfeffer attended the University of Göttingen studying chemistry and pharmacy under the chemist Friedrich Wöhler who became best known for his synthesis of urea, under William Eduard…
René Dubos and the Antibiotics

René Dubos and the Antibiotics

On February 20, 1901, French-born American microbiologist, experimental pathologist, environmentalist, humanist, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize René Jules Dubos was born. Dubos is credited for having made famous Jacques Ellul‘s environmental maxim, “Think globally, act locally” (penser global, agir local). In Research, he is best known for his pioneer work in isolating antibacterial substances from certain soil microorganisms and the discovery of major antibiotic. Dubos was born in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt,…
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