JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lukas Evzen Martinec, Augustinian abbot, with a portrait of the Austrian botanist Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), founding father of genetics. Martinec has worked on restoring and expanding the current collection of Mendel relics (Mendelianum) held at the Abbey of Saint Thomas in Brno, Czech Republic. Mendel, the sixth abbot (from 1868) of the monastery, conducted his breeding experiments with pea plants here, discovering the statistical laws of heredity. From his results, he postulated the existence of a unit of heredity that is now called the gene. Martinec became the eleventh abbot of the Abbey in 1996. The Genius of Genetics exhibition opened in May 2002.
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