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6th grader may have plagiarized viral science project

Holly Martin | Science Recorder | July 23, 2014

6th grader may have plagiarized viral science project

Father defends project after publicity backlash.

Lauren Arrington, a 12-year-old Florida girl, made a big splash when she appeared on CBS and NPR to discuss her school science project, which found that deadly saltwater lionfish can survive in near-fresh water and are invading estuaries along the Southeast coast of the U.S. But a former grad student, who worked for a friend of the girl’s father, now claims authorship for the research, dating back three years prior.

Zack Jud, who has since graduated with his Ph.D., published a paper in 2011 detailing his discovery of lionfish living in low-salinity estuarine habitats. Lauren’s father, fish biologist D. Albrey Arrington, was one of the authors named on the paper, although he apparently had nothing to do with the research.

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