Using Biodiversity - Experiments

Experiments with marine organisms and their embryos started to become increasingly important work in the mid-1890s. While experimental biologists today may work with one or another experimental organism as a model to understand fundamental biological processes, early experimental work addressed questions using an array of different marine organisms. One remarkable biologist to look to for examples of such work is the embryologist-turned-geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan. Morgan, from the late 1890s and into the first decade of the 20th century, conducted experiments using a variety of marine organisms at the MBL to understand inter-species hybrids, regeneration, and self-fertilization. While Morgan is best known for his groundbreaking work on the genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in the 1910s and 1920s, his earlier work shows a rather eclectic interest in the processes organismal development and organic generation and regeneration.