Prominent evolutionary biologist Alan Cooper has actually been fired as director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the university announced today. Cooper’s ouster followed several allegations of bullying, which led the university to launch a probe and suspend him in August. The university stated in a declaration that it ended Cooper “for reasons of serious misconduct.”
Cooper declines the charge of bullying. “I’ve occasionally been too blunt in my language and actions, and regret this—but it was never bullying,” he informed Nature in this article released today. In an investigation released in August, Nature spoke with 9 present and previous colleagues of Cooper’s; 4 declared that he bullied them and 4 more stated they saw him bullying coworkers.
Nic Rawlence, a previous Cooper college student and postdoc who now directs the Paleogenetics Laboratory at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, (Cooper’s native nation) left ACAD with “literally no confidence,” he composed in a declaration reported in The New Zealand Herald. Rawlence included: “In many ways it has taken me six years to recover from ACAD, while in some I still haven’t.”
The university stated Associate Professor Jeremy Austin, another ancient DNA scientist, would continue as ACAD director, a function in which he has actually currently been serving.