Nikolaas Tinbergen Biography
Birthday: April 15, 1907 (Aries)
Born In: The Hague, Netherlands
Nikolaas Tinbergen was a Dutch biologist and ornithologist who was one of the joint winners of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He made significant discoveries concerning the individual and social behavior patterns in animals and published ‘The Study of Instinct’, an influential book on animal behavior. Born in The Hague, Netherlands, he had a happy childhood living in close proximity to nature and animals. Though bright and intelligent, he was not much interested in formal education and by his own accounts, just managed to scrap through high school. He loved observing the behaviors of animals and birds and proceeded to study biology at Leiden University. He met the gifted naturalist, Dr. Jan Verwey, at the university who instilled in the young Tinbergen a professional interest in studying the behavior of animals. After completing his doctorate, he embarked on an academic career that was interrupted by the World War II during which he was taken as a prisoner of war. Following his release, he resumed his research. In collaboration with Konrad Lorenz, he constructed a theoretical framework for the study of ethology, an emerging field in the 1930s and the two men performed many important investigations together, which revolutionized the science of ethology.