Wolff, Caspar Friedrich (käsˈpär frēˈdrĭkh vôlf) [key], 1733–94, German biologist, a founder of observational embryology. In his Theoria generationis (1759) he reintroduced the theory of epigenesis to replace the then current theory of preformation, directing attention to the evidence of comparative development in plants and animals. He spent many years of research at the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
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