Prominent evolutionary biologist Alan Cooper has been fired as director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the university announced today. Cooper’s ouster followed multiple allegations of bullying, which led the university to launch a probe and suspend him in August. The university said in a statement that it terminated Cooper “for reasons of serious misconduct.”
Cooper rejects the charge of bullying. “I’ve occasionally been too blunt in my language and actions, and regret this—but it was never bullying,” he told Nature in this article published today. In an investigation published in August, Nature interviewed nine current and former co-workers of Cooper’s; four alleged that he bullied them and four more said they saw him bullying colleagues.