Famous 19th Century Geneticists

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 1 Nettie Stevens

Nettie Stevens
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: July 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cavendish, Vermont, United States
Died: May 4, 1912

Nettie Stevens was an American geneticist. She is credited with discovering sex chromosomes which later came to be known as the X and Y chromosomes. In 1994, Nettie Stevens was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 2 Thomas Hunt Morgan

Thomas Hunt Morgan
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: September 25, 1866
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lexington
Died: December 4, 1945

Thomas Hunt Morgan was an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and embryologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. He worked extensively on the role that the chromosome plays in heredity and demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes. In his later career, he established the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology. 

 3 Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank
Famous As: Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Died: April 11, 1926

Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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 4 Ronald Fisher

Ronald Fisher
Famous As: Statistician
Birthdate: February 17, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Finchley, London, England
Died: July 29, 1962

Ronald Fisher was a British polymath, statistician, geneticist, mathematician, and academic. He is credited to have single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science. He made important contributions to the field of genetics and is known as one of the three principal founders of population genetics. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1929. 

 5 Oswald Avery

Oswald Avery
Famous As: Biologist, Physician, Geneticist
Birthdate: October 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halifax
Died: February 20, 1955

A pioneer of molecular biology, Oswald Avery revolutionized science with his research on the chemical processes involved in immunology. The Canadian-American bacteriologist initially aspired to be a musician. He later proved that DNA was the basis of heredity. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, he never won it.

 6 Hugo de Vries

Hugo de Vries
Famous As: Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935

 7 Hermann Joseph Muller

Hermann Joseph Muller
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: December 21, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 4, 1967

Nobel Prize-winning German geneticist Hermann Joseph Muller is best remembered for his work on mutation and the effects of radiation on genes. His contributions include his book The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity, which is a classic text in the subject. He was named the 1963 Humanist of the Year.

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 8 August Weismann

August Weismann
Famous As: Biologist, Zoologist, Geneticist
Birthdate: January 17, 1834
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: November 5, 1914

 9 Sewall Wright

Sewall Wright
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: December 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melrose, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 3, 1988

 10 Ian Wilmut

Ian Wilmut
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: July 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampton Lucy, England

British biologist Ian Wilmut revolutionized embryology by leading the team of researchers who successfully created the first cloned mammal, the sheep named Dolly. A leading proponent of cryopreservation, he also implanted the first calf embryo, Frostie, in a surrogate cow. He was later knighted for his achievements.

 11 Cyril Burt

Cyril Burt
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: March 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: October 10, 1971

Cyril Burt was an English geneticist and educational psychologist who also made immense contributions to statistics. A prolific writer, Cyril Burt published several books and articles on topics ranging from psychometrics to parapsychology over the course of his career.

 12 Reginald Punnett

Reginald Punnett
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: June 20, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tonbridge, England
Died: January 3, 1967

Reginald Punnett was a British geneticist who is credited with creating the Punnett square, which is used by biologists even today to evaluate the probability of genotypes of offspring. He is also credited with co-founding the Journal of Genetics alongside William Bateson in 1910. Reginald Punnett’s book Mendelism is considered by some to be the first textbook on genetics.

 13 Walter Sutton

Walter Sutton
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 5, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Utica, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 1916

Walter Sutton was an American physician and geneticist best remembered for his Boveri-Sutton chromosome theory, which is widely regarded as one of the most important contributions to present-day biology. Walter Sutton is also credited with improving several medical and surgical practices, such as anesthetic techniques.

 14 Alfred Sturtevant

Alfred Sturtevant
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: November 21, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Illinois, United States
Died: April 5, 1970

Alfred Sturtevant was an American geneticist. He is credited with constructing a chromosome's first genetic map in 1911. Throughout his career, Sturtevant did extensive research on Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and his research on the Drosophila genome allowed other geneticists to map chromosomes of higher organisms like human beings. Alfred Sturtevant received the prestigious National Medal of Science in 1967.

 15 Edmund Beecher Wilson

Edmund Beecher Wilson
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: October 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Geneva, Illinois, United States
Died: March 3, 1939

Edmund Beecher Wilson was an American geneticist and zoologist. He is credited with writing a textbook titled The Cell which is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important books in modern biology. Regarded as America's first cell biologist, Wilson is also credited with discovering the XY sex-determination system which is used to classify several mammals, including humans.

 16 Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen

Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 11, 1927

 17 Theodor Boveri

Theodor Boveri
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 12, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: October 15, 1915

 18 Carl Correns

Carl Correns
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 19, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: February 14, 1933

 19 Curt Richter

Curt Richter
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: February 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States
Died: December 21, 1988

Curt Richter is best remembered for his pioneering study on biorhythms. Born to a German immigrant engineer, Richter initially studied engineering but later switched to biology and then psychology. He later taught psychobiology and also worked on concepts such as the biological clock and circadian rhythms.

 20 Calvin Bridges

Calvin Bridges
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 11, 1889
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Schuyler Falls, New York, United States
Died: December 27, 1938

Calvin Bridges was an American scientist best remembered for his work in the field of genetics. Bridges was part of the famous Fly Room experiments along with other popular scientists like H.J. Muller and Alfred Sturtevant. The experiments were the first in a series of other experiments that conducted research on Drosophila melanogaster.

 21 Richard Goldschmidt

Richard Goldschmidt
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 12, 1878
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: April 24, 1958

Richard Goldschmidt was a geneticist best remembered for becoming the first person to attempt to integrate evolution, genetics, and development. He pioneered understanding of genetic assimilation, reaction norms, sex determination, dynamical genetics, and heterochrony. He is also credited with describing a nematode's nervous system.

 22 Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: July 10, 1802
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peebles, Scotland
Died: March 17, 1871

 23 George Harrison Shull

George Harrison Shull
Famous As: Plant biologist
Birthdate: April 15, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clark County, Ohio, United States
Died: September 28, 1954

George Harrison Shull gained fame not just as a plant geneticist but also for his pioneering discovery of hybrid corn, or maize. He also coined the term heterosis. He taught at Princeton for 27 years and also established the journal Genetics, serving as its managing editor.

 24 Theophilus Painter

Theophilus Painter
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: August 22, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salem, Virginia, United States
Died: October 5, 1969

Zoologist Theophilus Painter made some groundbreaking studies on chromosomes, with special focus on the X and Y chromosomes and chromosomes of the salivary glands of the Drosophila fly. The Yale alumnus was associated with the University of Texas, where he eventually became the president.

 25 Félix d'Hérelle

Félix d'Hérelle
Famous As: Microbiologist
Birthdate: April 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 22, 1949

 26 Edith Rebecca Saunders

Edith Rebecca Saunders
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: October 14, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brighton, England
Died: June 6, 1945

Known especially for her work on trait inheritance in plants, Edith Rebecca Saunders has been described as the mother of British plant genetics. Beginning her career as a botany teacher at Newnham College, she later became the director of the Balfour Biological Laboratory for Women, concurrently continuing with her own research works, publishing series of papers on inheritance in plants.

 27 Herbert Spencer Jennings

Herbert Spencer Jennings
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 8, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tonica, Illinois, United States
Died: April 14, 1947

Renowned zoologist and geneticist Herbert Spencer Jennings is best known for his research on microorganisms and the genetic processes in single-celled organisms. The Harvard alumnus had also penned valuable texts such as Behaviour of the Lower Organisms and Life and Death: Heredity and Evolution in Unicellular Organisms.

 28 Edward Murray East

Edward Murray East
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: October 4, 1879
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Du Quoin, Illinois, United States
Died: November 9, 1938

Known for his contribution to the development of hybrid corn, Edward Murray East was a plant geneticist, botanist and agronomist. Trained as chemist, he soon switched to genetics and began working on corn-breeding experiments, intending to increase its fat and protein content, later writing Inbreeding and Outbreeding with his student Donald F. Jones, introducing the concept of heterosis in it.

 29 Donald F. Jones

Donald F. Jones
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
Died: June 19, 1963

Donald F. Jones revolutionized the corn-breeding industry by pioneering the double-cross hybrid variant of the food grain. The Harvard alumnus once worked as the only geneticist at the Connecticut Station. He also headed the Genetics Society of America as its president and was part of the National Academy of Sciences.

 30 Egerton Brydges

Egerton Brydges
Famous As: Bibliographer
Birthdate: November 30, 1762
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wootton, England
Died: September 8, 1837

British baronet and MP Egerton Brydges was also a significant writer and genealogist, and had edited some major texts of his time, such as Edward Phillips’s Theatrum Poetarum and Arthur Collins’s Peerage of England. He had also formed an affluent bibliophiles’ club named the Roxburghe Club.