The Gerald M. Lemole, MD, Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology


Professor Aaron Bauer, PhD

Aaron Bauer, PhD, professor of Biology, is the first recipient of the Gerald M. Lemole, MD, Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology. Dr. Bauer is a world-renowned herpetologist whose research concentrates on the morphology and systematics of geckos and other lizards. Dr. Bauer regularly travels around the world to study geckos, how they adapt to their environments and how they respond to threats, such as climate change.

Dr. Bauer received a BS in Zoology and BA in History (Honors) from Michigan State University and a PhD in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary and moved to Villanova University in 1988, where he received the Villanova Outstanding Faculty Research Award in 2002. From 2001 to 2016 he was Director of the Graduate Program in Biology and received the Graduate Alumni Founder’s Award in 2008. He has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on eight successful National Science Foundation research grants as well as numerous other grants from foundations, institutions and societies around the world. He has served as President of the Herpetologists’ League, Chairman of the Herpetological Association of Africa, and Secretary General of the World Congress of Herpetology, and is currently President of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Dr. Bauer has published over 600 manuscripts in prestigious journals such as Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society and Journal of Biogeography and has contributed chapters to dozens of scholarly books. His paper on leaf-toed geckos and their biogeography was selected as 2014 paper of the year in the international journal Systematics and Biodiversity. He has also published five books, including Geckos: The Animal Answer Guide (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), The Amphibians and Reptiles of Alberta (University of Calgary Press, 1994 – second edition 2000), which won the Alberta Scholarly Book of the Year Award and the Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence. Many of his publications are coauthored by Villanova Masters students or undergraduates.

Dr. Bauer research focuses on systematics, or the study of biodiversity. He maintains an active field research program in Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Australia, New Caledonia, India, Malaysia and other parts of the world, where he frequently discovers new species. Dr. Bauer also conducts research at the interface of science and the humanities. He publishes widely in the history and bibliography of herpetology and museology and is an expert in the development of natural history museums from the 16th to the 19th centuries. He recently contributed to the highly acclaimed book The Curious Mr. Catesby (University of Georgia Press, 2015) a study of America’s first naturalist and is editor of the book series The Emergence of Natural History published by E.J. Brill.

About the Gerald M. Lemole, MD, Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology

The establishment of a the Gerald M. Lemole, MD, Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology will honor the life and legacy of Gerald M. Lemole M.D. ’58 by supporting the career of a talented biology professor, advancing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and enhancing the education of Villanova biology students.

In addition to providing critical resources to enhance science education at Villanova, the Endowed Chair also will serve as a lasting tribute to the special relationship shared by Villanova and Dr. Lemole.

A 1958 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dr. Lemole became a pioneer in the field of cardiac thoracic medicine. A highly esteemed surgeon and author, he has taught and practiced medicine around the world. He also has established himself as a generous philanthropist who has lent his support to numerous Christian and educational causes. At Villanova, Dr. Lemole’s friendship and support has included the endowment of the Rev. Angus N. Carney Endowed University Scholarship, which has benefited several students since its establishment in 1999.