08.12.2022

Star marine ecologist committed misconduct, university says

A major controversy in marine biology took a new twist last week when the University of Delaware (UD) found one of its star scientists guilty of research misconduct. The university has confirmed to Science that it has accepted an investigative panel’s conclusion that marine ecologist Danielle Dixson committed fabrication and falsification in work on fish behavior and coral reefs.

The university is seeking the retraction of three of Dixson’s papers and “has notified the appropriate federal agencies,” a spokesperson says. Among the papers is a study about coral reef recovery that Dixson published in Science in 2014[.] The investigative panel’s draft report, which Science’s News team has seen in heavily redacted form, paints a damning picture of Dixson’s scientific work, which included many studies that appeared to show Earth’s rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can have dramatic effects on fish behavior and ecology.

Authored by Martin Enserink and originally published at Science on 9 August 2022 here.

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