The Scientists of the History of Biology

BioBook Index
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Talmud   2000 B.C.    Hebrew    (Genetics)
  • stated that any newborn male should not be circumcised if his brother or maternal uncle died of bleeding at circumcision

Hippocrates   400 B.C.    Greek    (Genetics)
  • discussed sex determination, Paracelcus describes homunculi

Galenus, Claudius   170 A.D.    Roman    (Human Biology)
  • 1st experimental physiologist, determined nerve and blood vessel functions, proposed an incorrect blood flow pattern

Jansen, Zacharias   1595    Dutch    (Cell Biology)
  • claimed to have made the first compound microscope

Harvey, William   1628    English    (Human Biology)
  • showed heart and blood vessels form a closed circuit of circulation, the first to propose the correct blood flow pattern

Helmont, Jean-Baptiste Van   1648    Dutch    (Photosynthesis)
  • tested plant growth with a willow tree and found growth was not from soil but from water.

Hooke, Robert   1665    English    (Cell Biology)
  • invented the term "cells" for his observations of cells in cork

Redi, Francesco   1668    Italian    (Evolution)
  • demonstrated that flies produce maggots, not decaying meat

Leeuwenhoek, Anton van   1674    Dutch    (Cell Biology)
  • observed numerous protozoan cells types with self built scopes

Arnhem, Johann Hamm von   1677    Dutch    (Genetics)
  • told Anton von Leeuwenhoek he saw animalcules in semen

Trembley, Abraham   1702    Swiss    (Natural History)
  • observed the feeding behavior of the freshwater hydra, a Cnidarian, and first showed that it was not a plant but instead an animal

Linnaeus, Carolus   1735    Swedish    (Taxonomy)
  • in Systema Naturae and Species Plantarum, a two word species naming system is proposed

Maupertius, Pierre   1752    French    (Genetics)
  • observed segregation in 4 generations of a family with polydactlyly

Buffon, Georges Le Clerc   1760    French    (Evolution)
  • after studies of homologous animal skeletons, he stated that all backboned animals were related

Spallanzani, Lazzaro   1768    Italian    (Evolution)
  • demonstrated that boiled and sealed flasks grew no microbes unless the seal was broken, showing that microbes were present in air

Priestley, Joseph   1771    English    (Photosynthesis)
  • documented that candles and mice "injured the air" in closed jars, which could be restored by a green plant

Ingenhousz, Jan   1779    Dutch    (Photosynthesis)
  • showed that only green leaves carried on photosynthesis, observed will sprigs under water produce oxygen gas

Senebier, Jean   1782    Swiss    (Photosynthesis)
  • found that plants use carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and the carbon dioxide contributes nourishment to the plant

Spallanzani, Lazzaro   1784    Italian    (Genetics)
  • filtered dog sperm from semen to show that sperm cause pregnancy

Malthus, Thomas   1789    British    (Evolution)
  • wrote a paper on human population growth, "Essay on the Principle of Population", first coined the phrase "struggle for existence"

Dalton, John   1794    British    (Genetics)
  • first to study and document the cause of colorblindness

Sassure, Nicolas Theodore de   1804    Swiss    (Photosynthesis)
  • documented that carbon dioxide and water contributes to plant nutrition

Lamarck, Jean Baptiste de   1809    French    (Evolution)
  • published first theory of evolution, albeit erroneous

Adams, Joseph   1814    British    (Genetics)
  • distinguished between dominant and recessive human inheritance

Nasse, Christian   1820    German    (Genetics)
  • described the inheritance pattern of hemophilia

Dutrochet, Rene   1824    French    (Cell Biology)
  • stated that all plant and animal tissues were aggregates of cells

Brown, Robert   1831    English    (Cell Biology)
  • named cell nucleus

Darwin, Charles   1831    English    (Evolution)
  • set sail on H.M.S. Beagle (Dec. 27) and returned Oct. 2nd, 1836

Lyell, Charles   1832    English    (Evolution)
  • geologist who wrote "Principles of Geology", which state the earth was old

Dujardin, Felix   1835    French    (Cell Biology)
  • discovered cytoplasm

Schleiden, Matthias   1838    German    (Cell Biology)
  • botanist that stated that plant cells were the basis of plant structure and function, discovered the nucleolus

Schwann, Theodor   1839    German    (Cell Biology)
  • physiologist that stated that animal cells were the basis of animal structure and function

Koch, Robert   1843    German    (Human Biology)
  • 1st established a step by step method for identifying the pathogen responsible for a disease (sample, culture, infect, sample, culture)

Virchow, Rudolf   1855    German    (Cell Biology)
  • first to propose that "cells only arise from preexisting cells"

Galton, Francis   1857    British    (Genetics)
  • studied human intelligence and height, developed the twin method to separate genetic and environmental effects, compared mono and dizygotic twins, headed English Biometrical School (opposed Gregor Mendel)

Wallace, Alfred Russel   1858    British    (Evolution)
  • proposed natural selection theory jointly with Charles Darwin at English Linnaean Society meeting

Darwin, Charles   1859    English    (Evolution)
  • published the landmark book: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

Pasteur, Louis   1861    French    (Cell Biology)
  • performed the classic "bent-necked flask experiments" to show that spontaneous generation did not occur in broth solutions continually exposed to air

Sachs, Julius   1864    German    (Photosynthesis)
  • observed starch grains grow in a leaf under a microscope, suggesting that the organic matter made by photosynthesis was carbohydrate

Haeckel, Ernst   1866    German    (Evolution)
  • first to invent the term "ecology" to describe the interactions between life forms and their environment

Mendel, Gregor   1866    Austrian    (Genetics)
  • presented his completed classical pea genetics experiment, the father of Genetics

Miescher, Friedrich   1869    Swiss    (Genetics)
  • discovered nucleic acid

Darwin, Charles   1881    English    (Botany)
  • with son Francis Darwin, studied positive phototropism, used canary grass and oat seedlings

Darwin, Francis   1881    British    (Botany)
  • with father Charles Darwin, studied positive phototropism, used canary grass and oat seedlings

Engelmann, Theodor   1882    German    (Photosynthesis)
  • showed chlorophyll to play important role in photosynthesis with spirogyra, seeing bacteria cluster near bands of red and blue exposed sections of spirogyra

Barnes, Charles   1893    American    (Photosynthesis)
  • proposed the term "photosynthesis" to name the activity of plants producing foodstuffs using light energy

Yersin, Alexandre   1894    Swiss, French    (Cell Biology)
  • discovered the cause of bubonic plague

Correns, Carl   1900    German    (Genetics)
  • one of the 3 scientists that rediscovered Mendel's work

Devries, Hugo   1900    Dutch    (Genetics)
  • one of the three scientists that rediscovered Mendel's work.

Tschermak, Eric   1900    Austrian    (Genetics)
  • one of the 3 scientists that rediscovered Mendel's work

Neljubov, Dimitry   1901    Russian    (Botany)
  • discovered ethylene in illuminating gas as a plant hormone

Garrod, Archibald. E.    1902    British    (Genetics)
  • proposed Alkaptonuria was caused by a lack of an enzyme (inborn error of metabolism)

Sutton, Walter   1902    American    (Genetics)
  • observed meiosis in fungi, related it to Mendel's work

Blackman, Frederick   1905    British    (Photosynthesis)
  • deduced the presence of a light and dark reaction in photosynthesis by observing photosynthesis rates in different intensities of light and temperature

Hardey, Godfrey   1908    English    (Genetics)
  • developed Hardey-Weinberg population genetics principles

Weinberg, Wilhelm   1908    German    (Genetics)
  • developed Hardey-Weinberg population genetics principles

Morgan, Thomas Hunt   1910    American    (Genetics)
  • studied fruit fly heredity, received 1933 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Warburg, Otto   1913    German    (Respiration)
  • discovered that cyanide ions stop cellular oxygen consumption

Willstatter, Richard   1913    German    (Photosynthesis)
  • developed the molecular structure of chlorophyll

Bridges, Calvin   1916    American    (Genetics)
  • first observed effects of nondisjuction in fruit flies, proposed the Chromosome Theory of Heredity

Allard, H. A.   1920    American    (Botany)
  • with W. W. Garner, discovered photoperiodism in tobacco plants

Garner, W. W.   1920    American    (Botany)
  • with H. A. Allard, discovered photoperiodism in tobacco plants

Oparin, Alexander   1922    Russian    (Evolution)
  • proposed that the Earth's early atmosphere was not an oxidative one as it is now, but instead a reducing one

Spemann, Hans   1924    German    (Genetics)
  • showed embryonic induction in salamander embryos, received 1935 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Went, Frits W.    1926    Dutch    (Botany)
  • identified chemical agent responsible for phototropism by using agar and cut coleoptiles, named it auxin

Fleming, Alexander   1928    English    (Human Biology)
  • discovered penicillin from Penicillium growing on his Staph cultures

Griffith, Fred J.   1928    English    (Genetics)
  • discovered bacterial transformation in Streptococcus bacteria

Niel, Cornelis van   1930    Dutch    (Photosynthesis)
  • oxygen produced in photosynthesis comes from water, used purple sulfer bacteria

Ford, Edmund B.    1931    British    (Evolution)
  • proposed that natural selection brought about changes in Biston betularia

Anderson, Paul   1935    American    (Cell Biology)
  • with Kenneth Fitzsimmons, invented the first North American transmission electron microscope

Fitzsimmons, Kenneth   1935    American    (Cell Biology)
  • with Paul Anderson, invented the first North American transmission electron microscope

Knoll, Max   1935    German    (Cell Biology)
  • obtained first scanning electron microscope image

Haldane, J. B. S.   1937    English    (Genetics)
  • observed the first linkage study with hemophilia and colorblindness

Krebs, Sir Hans   1937    English    (Respiration)
  • first describes the TCA cycle, received 1953 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Bonner, James   1938    American    (Botany)
  • with James Bonner, discovered that interruptions of the dark affected photoperiodic flowering of plants

Hamner, Karl C.   1938    American    (Botany)
  • with Karl Hamner, discovered that interruptions of the dark affected photoperiodic flowering of plants

Embden, Gustav   1940    German    (Respiration)
  • with Otto Meyerhof, determined the biochemical steps of glycolysis

Meyerhof, Otto   1940    German    (Respiration)
  • with Gustav Embden, determined the biochemical steps of glycolysis, received 1922 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Beadle, George   1941    American    (Genetics)
  • with Edward Tatum, studied neurospora to show that one gene makes one enzyme, recieved 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Kamen, Martin   1941    Canadian-American    (Photosynthesis)
  • with Samuel Ruben, showed that oxygen produced in photosynthesis comes from water with radioactive isotopes

Ruben, Samuel   1941    American    (Photosynthesis)
  • with Martin Kamen, showed that oxygen produced in photosynthesis comes from water with radioactive isotopes

Tatum, Edward   1941    Canadian-American    (Genetics)
  • with George Beadle, studied neurospora to show that one gene makes one enzyme. recieved 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Mayr, Ernst   1942    German-American    (Evolution)
  • introduced biological species concept

Hammerling, Joachim   1943    Danish-German    (Cell Biology)
  • Acetabularia mediterranea + Acetabularia crenulata experiments showing the nucleus is the cell's control center

Avery, Oswald T.   1944    Canadian-American    (Genetics)
  • with Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty, isolated DNA from heat killed bacteria to show that DNA was the transforming principle proposed by Griffith

MacLeod, Colin   1944    Canadian-American    (Genetics)
  • with Oswald Avery and Maclyn McCarty, isolated DNA from heat killed bacteria to show that DNA was the transforming principle proposed by Griffith

McCarty, Maclyn   1944    American    (Genetics)
  • with Oswald Avery and Colin MacLeod, isolated DNA from heat killed bacteria to show that DNA was the transforming principle proposed by Griffith

Chargaff, Erwin   1947    Austrian    (Genetics)
  • documented that DNA contains equal amounts of purine and pyrimidine

Calvin, Melvin   1948    American    (Photosynthesis)
  • extracted chemicals from methanol killed plant cells and analyzed them for C-14 content to determine the steps of carbon fixation in photosynthesis, received the 1961 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Lehninger, Albert   1948    American    (Respiration)
  • discovered that mitochondria are the site of oxidative phosphorylation

McClintock, Barbara   1948    American    (Genetics)
  • first identified mobile genetic elements in corn, received the 1983 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Franklin, Rosalind   1951    British    (Genetics)
  • produced DNA X-ray crystallographs

Wilkins, Maurice   1951    British    (Genetics)
  • managed the lab where Rosalind Franklin developed the X-ray crystallographs of DNA, passed along Rosalind Franklin's crystallographs to James Watson

Chase, Martha   1952    American    (Genetics)
  • with Alfred Hershey, documented that viral DNA was responsible for bacteriophage heredity

Hershey, Alfred   1952    American    (Genetics)
  • with Martha Chase, showed that viral DNA was responsible for bacteriophage heredity

Kettlewell, Bernard   1952    British    (Evolution)
  • used mark-release-recapture technique to test E. B. Ford's hypothesis

Miller, Stanley   1952    American    (Evolution)
  • with Harold Urey, conducted a reducing atmosphere experiment to explore the chemical origins of life

Urey, Harold   1952    American    (Evolution)
  • with Stanley Miller, conducted a reducing atmosphere experiment to explore the chemical origins of life, recieved the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (for work on deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen)

Crick, Francis   1953    British    (Genetics)
  • with James Watson, published structure for DNA, received 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Sherman, Jerome   1953    American    (Genetics)
  • showed that frozen-thawed human sperm were capable of fertilization

Watson, James   1953    American    (Genetics)
  • with Francis Crick, published structure of DNA, received 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Arnon, Daniel   1954    Polish-American    (Photosynthesis)
  • showed that ATP was produced during photosynthesis

Salk, Jonas   1955    American    (Human Biology)
  • developed the polio vaccine

Kornberg, Arthur   1956    American    (Genetics)
  • discovered DNA Polymerase I in E. coli

Levan, Albert   1956    Swedish    (Genetics)
  • with Joe Tjio, first to show that humans have 46 chromosomes per cell

Tjio, Joe   1956    Chinese-Dutch    (Genetics)
  • with Albert Levan, first to show that humans have 46 chromosomes per cell

Emerson, Robert   1957    American    (Photosynthesis)
  • showed that there are two photosystems in photosynthesis

Fox, Sydney   1958    American    (Evolution)
  • demonstrated that proteinoids (protein-like macromolecules) spontaneously form from heating and drying mixtures of amino acids

Meselson, Matthew   1958    American    (Genetics)
  • with Franklin Stahl, published proof of semiconservative DNA replication

Stahl, Franklin   1958    American    (Genetics)
  • with Matthew Meselson, published proof of semiconservative DNA replication

Ford, John   1959    Scottish, British    (Genetics)
  • with Patricia Jacobs, discovered the role of the Y chromosome in sex determination

Jacobs, Patricia   1959    British    (Genetics)
  • with John Ford, discovered the role of the Y chromosome in sex determination

Lejeune, Jerome   1959    French    (Genetics)
  • showed that a chromosome abberation could be responsible for a genetic defect

Hatch, Marshall   1960    Australian    (Photosynthesis)
  • with H. P. Kortschak and C. R. Slack, discovered C4 photosynthesis

Kortschak; H. P.   1960    Australian    (Photosynthesis)
  • with M. Hatch and C. R. Slack, discovered C4 photosynthesis

Mitchell, Peter   1960    British    (Photosynthesis)
  • investigated chemiosmosis in chloroplasts, received the 1978 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Slack, C. R.   1960    Australian    (Photosynthesis)
  • with H. P. Kortschak and Marshall Hatch, discovered C4 photosynthesis

Jacob, Francois    1961    French    (Genetics)
  • with Jacques Monod, developed lac operon theory of E. coli gene control, received 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Monod, Jacques   1961    French    (Genetics)
  • with Francois Jacob, developed lac operon theory of E. coli gene control, received 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Nirenberg, Marshall   1961    American    (Genetics)
  • began deciphering genetic code, work completed by 1966, received 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Hennig, William   1966    German    (Taxonomy)
  • proposed cladistics as method of classification

Margulis, Lynn   1966    American    (Cell Biology)
  • introduced the endosymbiosis theory that explains the origin of the eukaryotes; also that mitochondria and chloroplasts originated as separate prokaryotes that came to live within other cells

Okazaki, Reiji   1968    Japanese    (Genetics)
  • reported continuous and discontinuous replication on opposing DNA strands

Eldredge, Niles   1972    American    (Evolution)
  • paleontologist that, with Stephen Gould, proposed evolutionary punctuated equilibrium

Gefter, Malcolm   1972    American    (Genetics)
  • with Thomas Kornberg, discovered DNA polymerase III in E. coli

Gould, Stephen J.   1972    American    (Evolution)
  • paleontologist that, with Niles Eldredge, proposed evolutionary punctuated equilibrium

Kornberg, Thomas   1972    American    (Genetics)
  • with Malcom Gefter, discovered DNA polymerase III in E. coli

Nicolson, Garth L.   1972    American    (Cell Biology)
  • with S. J. Singer, introduced the Fluid-Mosaic Model of the cell membrane

Singer, Seymour J.   1972    American    (Cell Biology)
  • with G.L. Nicolson, introduced the Fluid-Mosaic Model of the cell membrane.

Coulson, Alan   1975    British    (Genetics)
  • with Frederick Sanger, invented the first DNA sequencing method

Sanger, Frederick   1975    British    (Genetics)
  • with Alan Coulson, invented the first DNA sequencing method, received the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Gilbert, Walter   1977    American    (Genetics)
  • with Allan Maxam, developed rapid method for base sequencing DNA, received the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Maxam, Allan   1977    American    (Genetics)
  • with Walter Gilbert, developed rapid method for base sequencing DNA

Venter, Craig   2010    American    (Genetics)
  • with coworkers, created the first life form with a fully synthetic genome