biology

Johann Gottlieb Kölreuter and the Study of Plant Fertilization

Johann Gottlieb Kölreuter and the Study of Plant Fertilization

On April 27, 1733, German botanist Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter was born. Kölreuter was a German botanist who pioneered the study of plant fertilization, hybridization and was the first to detect self-incompatibility. He was an observer as well as a rigorous experimenter who used careful crossing experiments although he did not inquire into the nature of heritability. Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter was the son of an apothecary in Karlsruhe, Germany. From early age, Kölreuter…
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Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

On April 25, 1873, French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Herelle was born. D’Herelle was co-discoverer of bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) and experimented with the possibility of phage therapy. D’Herelle has also been credited for his contributions to the larger concept of applied microbiology. Félix d’Herelle began studying microbiology around the age of 24. He had just moved to Canada and began setting up his own laboratory, conducting first experiments. He then also earned…
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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 University of…
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Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

On April 8, 1911, American biochemist Melvin Calvin was born. Calvin is best known for furthering our knowledge of the mechanism of photosynthesis with the discovery the Calvin cycle along with Andrew Benson and James Bassham, for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Youth and Education Calvin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Elias Calvin and Rose Herwitz, immigrants from Russia. Originally, his father was…
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Bronisław Malinowski – the Founder of Social Anthropology

Bronisław Malinowski – the Founder of Social Anthropology

On April 7, 1884, Polish anthropologist Bronisław Kasper Malinowski was born. Malinowski is widely recognized as the founder of social anthropology and often considered one of the most important 20th-century anthropologists. Early Years Bronisław Malinowski was the son of the Krakow linguist Lucjan Malinowski. When he was thirteen years old, his father died. In his youth he received strong influences from Ernst Mach,[6] a philosopher oriented towards natural science, and from linguistics. Malinowski earned…
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Walter S. Sutton developed the Chromosome Theory

Walter S. Sutton developed the Chromosome Theory

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 Sutton studied…
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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. “I found ways of maintaining spiritual independence while adjusting myself to established policies. . . . I have never felt that my career was being affected by the…
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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. He returned to England with his family in 1949. 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…
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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. Early Years Frederick William Twort was born in Camberley, Surrey, the eldest of the eleven children of Dr. William Henry Twort. He initially only received a limited…
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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. “But if the ants are not despondent because they have failed to produce a new social invention or convention in 65 million years, why should we be…
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