Gregor Mendel was elected vice president of the National Science Society in 1868, nominated for the Order of Franz Josef in 1872 and awarded the Medal of the Heitzing Horticultural Society in 1882. Mendel was an Austrian monk whose studies of pea plants has become the foundation of modern genetics. He is known as the "father of modern genetics."
Mendel was born in Austria on July 22, 1822. He studied science at the University of Olmutz, graduating in 1843. He then entered the St. Thomas Monastery, which sent him to the University of Vienna to study science. He graduated in 1853 and returned to the monastery, where he began his best known experiments.
Mendel began to study the genetics of plants in 1854. He chose peas because of their wide variety of traits and quick growth rate. His experiments with the pea plants lasted from 1856 until 1863. Mendel cross-fertilized pea plants with opposite traits. For example, tall plants were cross-fertilized with short plants, green plants cross-fertilized with yellow plants, and smooth plants cross-fertilized with wrinkled plants. Using the results, he formed two important conclusions: that there are recessive and dominant traits passed from parents to offspring, which is the Law of Segregation, and the traits were passed on independently of each other, which is the Law of Assortment. His findings were published in 1866 under the title "Experiments on Plant Hybridization." Mendel died on January 6, 1884 at the age of 62.