Tinbergen, Nikolaas

Tinbergen, Nikolaas

biographical name

(born April 15, 1907, The Hague, Neth.—died Dec. 21, 1988, Oxford, Eng.) Dutch-born British zoologist, a founder (with Konrad Lorenz) of the science of ethology. Brother of Jan Tinbergen, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Leiden and taught there until 1949, when he took a position at Oxford University. He emphasized the importance of both instinctive and learned behaviour to survival and used animal behaviour as a basis for speculation on human violence and aggression. His observations of seagulls led to important generalizations on courtship and mating behaviour. From the 1970s he and his wife, Elizabeth, studied human behavioral disorders, particularly autism. With Lorenz and Karl von Frisch he shared a Nobel Prize in 1973.

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