Mendel, Gregor Johann (1822-1884), an Austrian priest and botanist. Mendel founded the science of genetics. Through his experiments in crossbreeding garden peas, he established two fundamental laws of heredity—segregation and dominance and independent assortment. He reported his results in 1865 to a local scientific society, which published them in 1866, but his work lay ignored until 1900.

Mendel was born in Austrian Silesia, the son of a peasant. He entered an Augustinian monastery at Brunn (now Brno, Czech Republic) in 1843 and became a priest in 1847. He studied mathematics and natural science at the University of Vienna, 1851-53. After 1868, when he became abbot of the monastery, lack of time and failing eyesight kept him from extensive scientific work.