Theodosius Dobzhansky

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Dobzhansky, Theodosius


(Feodosii Grigor’evich Dobrzhanskii). Born Jan. 12 (25), 1900, in Nemirov, in what is now the Ukrainian SSR; died Dec. 19, 1975, in Davis, Calif. American geneticist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1941) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dobzhansky graduated from the University of Kiev in 1921. He taught at Leningrad University from 1924 until 1927, when he emigrated to the United States. From 1929 to 1940 he taught at the California Institute of Technology, becoming a professor of genetics in 1936. From 1940 to 1962 he was a professor of zoology at Columbia University in New York, and from 1962 to 1970 he was a professor at Rockefeller University in New York. He became a professor of genetics at the University of California at Davis in 1971.

Dobzhansky was one of the founders of experimental population genetics and the author of the synthetic theory of evolution. He made a major contribution to the study of isolating mechanisms of evolution. Dobzhansky was a fellow of the Royal Society of London and other foreign academies of sciences.


Genetics and the Origin of Species, 3rd ed. New York, 1951.
Heredity and the Nature of Man. London, 1965.
Genetics of the Evolutionary Process. New York–London, 1970.
Evolution. San Francisco, 1977. (With other authors.)


Ayala, F. J. ‘Theodosius Dobzhansky: The Man and the Scientist.” Annual Review of Genetics, 1976, vol. 10, pp. 1–6.
Beardmore, J. A. “Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1900–1975.” Heredity, 1976, vol. 37, no. 1.
Ehrman, L., and B. Wallace. “Theodosius Grigorievich Dobzhansky.” Nature, 1976, vol. 260, no. 5,547, p. 179.
References in periodicals archive ?
The reader must look up Dobzhansky, Haldane, Penrose and Mayr.
Mutual interest may occur if the courtship enhances reproductive isolation (Mayr 1963; Dobzhansky 1970) by providing cues for species recognition (Ryan 1985; Andersson 1994) or if a long courtship is necessary to stimulate the female into mate (see reviews in Platnick 1971; Robinson 1982).
Theodosius Dobzhansky, the noted Harvard biologist and son of an Orthodox priest, summed it up well in his famous statement that nothing in biology makes sense unless it is understood in the light of evolution:
In December 2011, he joined the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, St.
For this reason, Theodosius Dobzhansky insisted, "Pre-biological natural selection is a contradiction in terms.
Yet, Darwin's name remains umbilically attached to modern biology and none of the other major biologists of the post-Darwinian era--Oken, Haller, Lamarck, Wallace, Weismann, Mendel, Morgan, de Vries, Bateson, Fisher, Wright, Dobzhansky, Hamilton, Lorenz, Trivers, Dawkins, Gould, Lewontin, Sober, or Wilson--whose contributions are far more central to the current state of biology occupy the same iconographic status as does he, whose name gives impetus to a Darwin industry that flourishes even in times of major economic recession.
While in New York, he became friends with Theodosius Dobzhansky at Columbia University and Ernst Mayr at the American Museum of Natural History, both of whom encouraged him to study the mating habits of Drosophila.
According to the evolutionary biologist Theodore Dobzhansky, evolution is neither random nor determined but creative.
Among his perspectives are mathematical and philosophical biologist Haldane weighs, in, Huxley proclaims a new synthesis, chromosome inversions in Drosophila, the changing views of Dobzhansky and Wright, and whether evolutionary theory is scientific.
And according to the great geneticist, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Campbell's role is typical of how the ideas of evolution are disseminated throughout a culture because its "potency is due to its being transmitted by teaching and learning" (43).
1) Theodosius Dobzhansky, 'Darwinian Evolution and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life', Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 15.
1) Dobzhansky, T, The American Biology Teacher, vol.