Saturday, July 26, 2014

Who found the lionfish in Florida rivers?

Christie Wilcox covers the dispute over credit for the "lionfish in Florida rivers" in a post titled
Proceeding upriver: a timeline of the dispute over estuarine lionfish .

The players in the dispute:

Zachary Jud, then a grad student at FIT, who discovered lionfish in rivers of salt content below that of adjacent ocean and published thereon in 2011. [ Jud is the first author of AQUATIC BIOLOGY Vol. 13: 21–26, 2011 titled Recent invasion of a Florida (USA) estuarine system
by lionfish ]

Craig Layman, Jud's thesis advisor, second author of 2011 paper

D. Albrey Arrington, of Loxahatchee River District, which funded some of Jud's studies, and who is listed as the third author of the 2011 paper. Father of Lauren.

Lauren Arrington who did a sixth-grade science project on lionfish salinity tolerance after the 2011 pape was published. [ Lauren set up her experimental tanks on September 8, 2012. ]

By 2014 the popular press had altered the story:

The Palm Beach post publishes a story on Laura Arrington’s science fair project and her acknowledgement in Jud et al. 2014. “Through long hours of research the Jupiter resident proved that lionfish certainly can live in nearly pure freshwater, which means they are more of a threat than expected,” writes Dianna Smith. “No one knew this before. Not even prestigious Florida scientists who have studied this ecosystem for years.”

from a CBS interview

After describing Lauren’s experiment, the reporter speaks to Albrey. “So no one really knew that lionfish were a threat in rivers like this one?” the reporter asks. “They didn’t. We certainly did not understand that. Lauren’s research showed they are.”


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