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Johann Mendel was born into an ethnic German farming family in Heinzendorf, Austrian Empire (now Hynčice, Czech Republic). In his childhood, he worked in the garden and studied beekeeping. When he was 11 years old, he was sent to secondary school, from which he graduated with honors. From 1840 to 1843, he studied philosophy and physics at the University of Olmütz. Against the wishes of his family, he then joined the Augustinian order of monks at the St. Thomas Monastery in Brno, and was given the name Gregor. The monastery was a cultural center for the region, and Gregor Mendel was able to participate in research and teaching and continue his education in the extensive library and experimental facilities. In 1851, he was sent for further study to the University of Vienna, where his physics professor was Christian Doppler. Mendel returned to his abbey in 1853 and began the experiments with variation in pea plants for which he is now celebrated as the "father of modern genetics." Between 1856 and 1863, Mendel cultivated and tested some 29,000 pea plants, which led him to make two generalizations, the Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment, which later came to be known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance. Mendel presented his paper, Versuche über Pflanzenhybriden (Experiments on Plant Hybridization), at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brno in 1865. It was received favorably but did not have much impact until another team of botanists independently duplicated his findings in 1900.
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