Concept 3 Genes don't blend.

Johann Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)

The Scientist

Johann Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel is known for his work on the laws of inheritance. However, he did more than just grow pea plants.

Gregor Mendel had an enquiring mind. At the University of Vienna, he took as many science courses as he could. It was probably Mendel's exposure to physics under the tutelage of Christian Doppler that gave the mathematical context for his later experiments. Despite his responsibilities and his ever-increasing workload as prelate of the monastery, Gregor Mendel always found time for scientific investigations.

Mendel tried to make practical use of what he found from his pea breeding experiments. He was a beekeeper; he designed beehives, and was working on breeding a strain of bees with improved honey production.

Mendel was a noted meteorologist, a founding member of the Austrian meteorological society. Mendel kept daily logs of weather patterns, and did a careful analysis of the tornado that struck Brno in 1870. Mendel also kept track of sunspot activity in relation to "northern lights" (aurora borealis) and disturbances in telegraph communication.

factoid Did you know ?

Mendel kept daily logs of weather conditions. During his lifetime Mendel was better known for his ability to predict the weather than for his laws of heredity.


How did Mendel's training in physics help with his pea plant analysis? Should all scientists be trained in more than one subject?