Gregor Johann Mendel


1822
Born on 20 July (baptised on 22 July) in Hyncice, northern Moravia (then Austrian Silesia) to farmers, Anton and Rosina.
1831-1833
Elementary school in Hyncice. In the autumn of 1833 Mendel moved to the Piarist school in Lipnik.
1834-1840
Gymnasium (grammar school) in Opava. Mendel helped pay his way by giving lessons to fellow students.
1840-1843
Institute of Philosophy in Olomouc. Mendel’s studies included mathematics, physics, philology, theoretical and practical philosophy and ethics.
1843
Augustinian Abbey in Old Brno. Mendel joined the Abbey as a novice under Abbot C. F. Napp (1792-1867) and assumed the name Gregor. Napp and the friar F. M. Klacel (1808-1882) are
both thought to have profoundly influenced Mendel’s development as a scientist.
1845-1848
Institute of Theology (Brno). In 1846 Mendel completed a course in agricultural studies, apple and wine growing.
1847
Mendel is ordained priest.
1849-1851
Abbot Napp removed Mendel from his work in the parish on the grounds that it made him ill. He became a substitute teacher at the Gymnasium in Znojmo and at the Technical College in Brno.
1851-1853
University of Vienna. Mendel studied physics, mathematics and natural history and attended courses in “Experimental Physics” (Christian Doppler, 1803-1853), in “Anatomy and Physiology of Plants” (Franz Unger, 1800-1870), and in “Practical lessons in using the microscope”.
1854
Construction of the glasshouse in the Abbey garden.
1854-1868
Realschule (secondary modern school), Brno. Mendel taught physics and natural history.
1854-1864
Experimental work on garden peas. Mendel carried out experiments in plant hybridisation in the Abbey garden, with particular attention to Pisum sativum. He spent two years selecting Pisum lines with constant characteristics.
1861
Co-founder of the Natural Science Society in Brno.
c. 1862
Mendel reads the German translation of the second edition (1860) of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and makes notes in the margins.
1863
First publication on his meteorological observations. Mendel continued with these until 1882.
1865
Lectures on “Experiments in Plant Hybrids” at the February and March meetings of the Natural Science Society (Brno). In 1866, Mendel published his lecture, a work that was to establish him as “the father of genetics”. In the same year, he opened his correspondence with Carl Nägeli (1817-1891).
1868
Mendel became abbot after Abbot Napp, who had died in 1867.
1870
Publication of his experiments on Hieracium in Brno.
1871
Construction of the bee house in the Abbey garden.
1872
Mendel was awarded the Cross of the Royal and Imperial Order of Franz Joseph I.
1881
Director of the Mortgage Bank of Moravia (Brno).
1884
Mendel died on 6 January. He was buried three days later in the Central Cemetery in Brno. His obituary in the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Ackerbaues, der Natur- und Landeskunde 1884, No. 1, said: “his experiments with plant hybrids opened a new era”.
The Mendel Museum wishes to acknowledge the kind assistance of Elisabeth Haring, Jirina Relichova and Vitezslav Orel in preparing this short biography.