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Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was an Austrian monk who entered the Augustinian Monastery in Brno in the Czech Republic in 1843. He wanted to pursue an education, which his family couldn't afford, so he continued his schooling while living at the monastery. He studied physics, chemistry and biology at the University of Vienna from 1851-53. He performed genetic experiments with garden peas from 1856-63 and published his findings in 1865. He is known as the father of genetics because his research with the garden pea led to the laws of genetic inheritance, including the law of dominance, the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment as they pertain to genes. During his time, genes were not yet discovered, so he called the traits he studied in pea plants factors. It wasn't until the turn of the 20th century that his work was rediscovered, ushering in the field of genetics. He served the monastery loyally during his lifetime and became the abbot of the Brno monastery. Due to this position, he had less time to devote to his scientific research during his later years.
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