|  Share | Cite

Nikolaas Tinbergen

Tinbergen, Nikolaas, 1907–88, Anglo-Dutch zoologist, b. Netherlands. He received his Ph.D. in 1932 from the Univ. of Leiden, where he became professor of zoology in 1947. In 1949 he joined the faculty of Oxford. For his work in reviving and developing the biological science of animal behavior, Tinbergen was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His first independent work concerned the landmark orientation of homing wasps. After collaborating with the Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz, he was invited to found a school of animal behavior at the Univ. of Leiden. Studies of the display behavior of certain species revealed that such displays result from a state of conflict between opposite motivations ("fight or flee"). Further work clarified the evolutionary origins of many social signals and their subsequent ritualization. Tinbergen emphasized the mutual interaction between predator and prey and, as scientific adviser to the Serengeti Research Institute in Tanzania, applied this approach to African plains game. His best-known books are The Study of Instinct (1951); The Herring Gull's World (1953, rev. ed. 1961). He was named a fellow of the Royal Society in 1962 and a foreign fellow of the Netherlands Academy of Sciences in 1964.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Nikolaas Tinbergen from Infoplease:

  • Tinbergen: meaning and definitions - Tinbergen: Definition and Pronunciation
  • ethology - ethology ethology, study of animal behavior based on the systematic observation, recording, and ...
  • Top News Stories from 1973 - News stories covering international, U.S., science, financial, entertainment & sports events from 1973. Includes basic U.S., world & economic statistics and links to detailed statistical data
  • Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine - The following table lists every winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, from 1901 through 2009.
  • Nobel Prizes (table) - Nobel Prizes Year Peace Chemistry Physics Physiology or Medicine Literature 1901 J. H. Dunant ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Zoology: Biographies