WAYNE LEIBEL, Gideon R. Jr. and Alice L. Kreider Professor of Biology, was a member of the faculty for 37 years.
He held a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Dartmouth College and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Yale University.
Leibel joined the faculty as assistant professor in 1983, was promoted to associate professor in 1989, and was promoted to professor in 2005. He was named Kreider Professor of Biology in 2007.
Hired as an evolutionary biologist, Leibel taught the first iteration of both molecular biology and developmental biology. As molecular approaches began to infuse biology, he recreated himself as a molecular evolutionist on the cutting edge, well before it became popular and now essential.
His research focused on the cichlid freshwater fish native to the tropics, resulting in the publication of more than 250 articles. He is the author of A Fishkeeper’s Guide to South American Cichlids, Cichlids of the Americas, and co-author of A Popular Guide to Tropical Cichlids. He presented more than 200 lectures and workshops to Aquarium Societies in the United States and abroad.
Leibel served as head of the Department of Biology from 2000 to 2009 and oversaw the hiring of many women into faculty and staff positions.
He served as editor in chief of Journal of the American Cichlid Association and associate editor of Journal of Experimental Zoology. He was chair of the Guy D. Jordan Endowment Fund and on the board of trustees of American Cichlid Association. In 2010, the association named him Guy D. Jordan Fellow for lifetime achievement in cichlid biology.