Richard Woltereck

Richard Woltereck (6 April 1877 – 23 February 1944) was a German zoologist best known for developing the concept of reaction norm (German: Reaktionsnorm). He also conducted some of the first research that provided evidence for the process of cytoplasmic inheritance.[1] He proposed the concept in a 1909 paper that he presented to the German Zoological Society, based on his own research on the Daphnia water flea.[2][3] According to historian Raphael Falk, the concept of the reaction norm was later revived by Richard Lewontin.[4]

Richard Woltereck
Born(1877-04-06)6 April 1877
Died23 February 1944(1944-02-23) (aged 66)
EducationUniversity of Freiburg
Known forReaction norm
AwardsMember of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig
ThesisZur Bildung und Entwicklung des Ostrakoden-Eies: kerngeschichtliche und biologische Studien an parthenogenetischen Cypriden (1898)
Academic advisorsAugust Weismann


  1. ^ Peirson, B.R. Erick (2012-05-13). "Richard Woltereck (1877-1944)". The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  2. ^ Pierson, B.R. Erick (2012-09-06). "Richard Woltereck's Concept of Reaktionsnorm". The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  3. ^ Falk, Raphael (2001). "Can the Norm of Reaction Save the Gene Concept?". Thinking about Evolution: Historical, Philosophical, and Political Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780521620703.
  4. ^ Ludwig, Ryan R. (2014-01-01). "Formation and Variation: Woltereck's Concept of Reaktionsnorm and the Potentials of Environment". Thresholds. 42: 134–147. doi:10.1162/thld_a_00084. ISSN 1091-711X. S2CID 57564347.

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