Gregor Mendel Didn't Start Off Studying Peas
Born into a poor farming family in the 19th century, Gregor Mendel struggled to pay for his education until he joined a monastery of Augustinian friars. The monastery paid for his living expenses and allowed him to conduct his now-famous studies on genetics. He focused on the traits of pea plants over a period of seven years, then published a paper that summarized his findings, refuting the idea that offspring had an equal "blend" of their parents' characteristics. His research went relatively unnoticed, however, until after his death. Today, he is hailed as the father of modern genetics.
Key Facts In This Video
At the Augustinian monastery where he lived, Gregor Mendel looked after and began to breed bees. (1:08)
From 1856 to 1863, Gregor Mendel conducted around 29,000 different experiments on pea plants. (2:46)
In 1866, when Gregor Mendel published his findings in a paper, he only received three or four requests for copies. (4:13)