Jonathan Pruitt

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Jonathan Pruitt
Born
Jonathan Neal Pruitt

NationalityAmerican
Education
Scientific career
Fields
Institutions
ThesisSociality in the Spider Anelosimus studiosus: Behavioral Correlates and Adaptive Consequences (2010 (withdrawn))
Doctoral advisorSusan Riechert
Other academic advisors
  • Andy Sih
  • Jay Stachowicz
Websitepnb.mcmaster.ca/pruittlab/index.html

Jonathan Neal Pruitt is a former academic researcher.[1] He was an Associate Professor of behavioral ecology and Canada 150 Research Chair in Biological Dystopias at McMaster University.[2][3] Pruitt's research focused primarily on animal personalities and the social behavior of spiders and other organisms.

In early 2020, much of Pruitt's published research was identified as having serious data irregularities, and Pruitt was alleged to have fabricated research data.[4] By 2021, it was reported that Pruitt "had a dozen papers retracted following allegations of data fraud", and that his doctoral dissertation had also been withdrawn.[5] On 12 November 2021, he was placed on a paid administrative leave by McMaster.[6] On 12 July 2022, Science reported that Pruitt had resigned.[7] Pruitt is currently a Florida high school science teacher.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pruitt was raised in Central Florida.[8] He attended Polk Community College,[9] now Polk State College, and subsequently continued his studies at the University of South Florida and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.[8]

Career[edit]

Pruitt earned his doctorate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville under his advisor Susan Riechert.[10] Pruitt completed a postdoc at the UC Davis Center for Population Biology under the supervision of Andy Sih and Jay Stachowicz and was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.[11] He later moved to UC Santa Barbara and then, in 2018, to McMaster University.[12] His research was previously funded by the National Science Foundation.[12][13]

Data irregularities[edit]

Concerns about the integrity of Pruitt's research first publicly emerged in January 2020.[14] In February 2020, McMaster University announced that it was reviewing 17 of his publications,[14] and 23 journals were reviewing publications by Pruitt.[12] By February 7, seven papers authored by Pruitt had been retracted or were in the process of being retracted.[14] Pruitt responded to the allegations by stating that the irregularities in his data were mistakes,[15] and he obtained legal counsel who cautioned journals and coauthors not to retract papers until institutional investigations were complete.[16]

Pruitt has been compared to Diederik Stapel and Jan Hendrik Schön, who were also considered rising stars in their fields before the discovery of their fraudulent publications.[17]

As of 2021, Pruitt has had 13 of his research publications retracted, 10 other papers have received an expression of concern, and four other papers have been corrected.[18]

Retracted publications, Corrections, and Expressions of Concern[edit]

Complete list of retracted publications
Paper title Year Originally Published Journal Retraction notice or statement
Individual- and condition-dependent effects on habitat choice and choosiness 2011 Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Pruitt, Jonathan N.; DiRienzo, Nicholas; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Johnson, J. Chadwick; Sih, Andrew (March 2021). "Retraction Note to: Individual- and condition-dependent effects on habitat choice and choosiness". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 75 (3): 64. doi:10.1007/s00265-021-02997-3. S2CID 236695002.
Iterative Evolution of Increased Behavioral Variation Characterizes the Transition to Sociality in Spiders and Proves Advantageous 2012 The American Naturalist Oufiero, Christopher E.; Avilés, Leticia; Riechert, Susan E. (1 March 2021). "Retraction". The American Naturalist. 197 (3): 392. doi:10.1086/713144. ISSN 0003-0147. PMID 33625972. S2CID 232040339.
Behavioral Types of Predator and Prey Jointly Determine Prey Survival: Potential Implications for the Maintenance of Within-Species Behavioral Variation 2012 The American Naturalist Oufiero, Christopher E.; Avilés, Leticia; Riechert, Susan E. (1 March 2021). "Retraction". The American Naturalist. 197 (3): 392. doi:10.1086/713144. ISSN 0003-0147. PMID 33625972. S2CID 232040339.
Behavioral Types of Predator and Prey Jointly Determine Prey Survival: Potential Implications for the Maintenance of Within-Species Behavioral Variation 2012 The American Naturalist Bolnick, Daniel I.; Fox, Jeremy W.; Débarre, Florence; Dietrich, Emma I.; Phelps, Steve M.; Jordan, Alex; torminalis, Sorbus (1 August 2021). "Editorial Expression of Concern". The American Naturalist. 198 (2): 313–316. doi:10.1086/714867. PMID 34260876. S2CID 235590404.
Linking levels of personality: personalities of the 'average' and 'most extreme' group members predict colony-level personality 2013 Animal Behaviour Pruitt, Jonathan N.; Grinsted, Lena; Settepani, Virginia (August 2013). "RETRACTED: Linking levels of personality: personalities of the 'average' and 'most extreme' group members predict colony-level personality". Animal Behaviour. 86 (2): 391–399. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.05.030. S2CID 53171408.
Individual personalities shape task differentiation in a social spider 2013 Proceedings B Proceedings B Editor-in-Chief (10 March 2021). "Retraction: Individual personalities shape task differentiation in a social spider". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288 (1946): 20210335. doi:10.1098/rspb.2021.0335. PMC 7944085. PMID 33715432. {{cite journal}}: |author1= has generic name (help)
Evidence of social niche construction: persistent and repeated social interactions generate stronger personalities in a social spider 2014 Proceedings B Laskowski, Kate L.; Pruitt, Jonathan N. (29 January 2020). "Retraction: Evidence of social niche construction: persistent and repeated social interactions generate stronger personalities in a social spider". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287 (1919): 20200077. doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.0077. PMC 7015328. PMID 31992140.
Site-specific group selection drives locally adapted group compositions 2014 Nature Pruitt, Jonathan N.; Goodnight, Charles J. (October 2014). "Site-specific group selection drives locally adapted group compositions". Nature. 514 (7522): 359–362. Bibcode:2014Natur.514..359P. doi:10.1038/nature13811. PMID 25274310. S2CID 4394122.
Persistent social interactions beget more pronounced personalities in a desert-dwelling social spider 2014 Biology Letters Laskowski, Kate L.; Modlmeier, Andreas P.; DeMarco, Alex E.; Coleman, Anna; Zhao, Katherine; Brittingham, Hayley A.; McDermott, Donna R.; Pruitt, Jonathan N. (February 2020). "Retraction: Persistent social interactions beget more pronounced personalities in a desert-dwelling social spider". Biology Letters. 16 (2): 20200062. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2020.0062. PMC 7058948. PMID 32072862.
Individual differences in personality and behavioural plasticity facilitate division of labour in social spider colonies 2014 Animal Behaviour Holbrook, C. Tate; Wright, Colin M.; Pruitt, Jonathan N. (November 2014). "RETRACTED: Individual differences in personality and behavioural plasticity facilitate division of labour in social spider colonies". Animal Behaviour. 97: 177–183. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.09.015. S2CID 14255648.
Individual and Group Performance Suffers from Social Niche Disruption 2016 The American Naturalist Laskowski, Kate L.; Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Pruitt, Jonathan N. (February 2020). "Retraction". The American Naturalist. 195 (2): 393. doi:10.1086/708066. PMID 32017613. S2CID 211036135.
The Effect of Keystone Individuals on Collective Outcomes Can Be Mediated through Interactions or Behavioral Persistence 2016 The American Naturalist Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Keiser, Carl N.; Wollman, Roy (1 March 2021). "Correction". The American Naturalist. 197 (3): 390–391. doi:10.1086/712423. PMID 33625973. S2CID 232040338.
Prolonged food restriction decreases body condition and reduces repeatability in personality traits in web-building spiders 2016 Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Lichtenstein, James L. L.; DiRienzo, Nicholas; Knutson, Karen; Kuo, Candice; Zhao, Katherine C.; Brittingham, Hayley A.; Geary, Sara E.; Ministero, Sam; Rice, Henry K.; David, Zachary; Scharf, Inon; Pruitt, Jonathan N. (March 2021). "Retraction Note to: Prolonged food restriction decreases body condition and reduces repeatability in personality traits in web-building spiders". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 75 (3): 63. doi:10.1007/s00265-021-02998-2. S2CID 243149524.
The Achilles' heel hypothesis: misinformed keystone individuals impair collective learning and reduce group success 2016 Proceedings B Pinter-Wollman, N.; Wright, C. M.; Keiser, C. N.; DeMarco, A.; Grobis, M. M. (29 July 2020). "Retraction: The Achilles' heel hypothesis: misinformed keystone individuals impair collective learning and reduce group success". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287 (1931): 20200255. doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.0255. PMC 7423664. PMID 33043869.
Female-Biased Sex Ratios Increase Colony Survival and Reproductive Output in the Spider Anelosimus studiosus 2018 The American Naturalist Lichtenstein, James L. L.; Kamath, Ambika; Bengston, Sarah; Avilés, Leticia (1 January 2021). "Retraction". The American Naturalist. 197 (1): 146. doi:10.1086/712483. PMID 33417529. S2CID 231201752.
Behaviour, morphology and microhabitat use: what drives individual niche variation? 2019 Biology Letters Costa-Pereira, Raul; Pruitt, Jonathan (August 2020). "Retraction: Behaviour, morphology and microhabitat use: what drives individual niche variation?". Biology Letters. 16 (8): 20200588. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2020.0588. PMC 7480150. PMID 32842899.
The adaptive value of gluttony: predators mediate the life history trade-offs of satiation threshold. 2010 Journal of Evolutionary Biology "Retraction: Pruitt, J.N., Krauel, J.J. 2010. The adaptive value of gluttony: predators mediate the life history trade-offs of satiation threshold". Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 34 (12): 1995. 20 December 2021. doi:10.1111/jeb.13972. PMID 34927306. S2CID 245330335.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kozlov, Max (10 August 2022). "How a scandal in spider biology upended researchers' lives". Nature.
  2. ^ Marcus, Adam (29 January 2020). "Authors questioning papers at nearly two dozen journals in wake of spider paper retraction". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ Chairs, Canada 150 Research (2017-05-08). "Canada 150 Research Chairs". www.canada150.chairs-chaires.gc.ca. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  4. ^ "McMaster University researcher under fire for data irregularities". Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  5. ^ "Behavioral ecologist Jonathan Pruitt's PhD dissertation withdrawn", Retraction Watch, 11 November 2021
  6. ^ "As data probe concludes, spider biologist placed on leave, has Ph.D. thesis 'withdrawn'". www.science.org. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  7. ^ "Embattled spider biologist resigns university post". www.science.org. Retrieved 2022-07-12.
  8. ^ a b "Jonathan Pruitt". 500 Queer Scientists. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  9. ^ Staff Writer. "Polk Community College". The Ledger. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  10. ^ Jonathan N. Pruitt, Pruitt Lab, McMaster University
  11. ^ "Dr. Jonathan Pruitt to Join Biological Sciences | Department of Biological Sciences | University of Pittsburgh". www.biology.pitt.edu.
  12. ^ a b c Pennisi, Elizabeth (31 January 2020). "Spider biologist denies suspicions of widespread data fraud in his animal personality research". Science. doi:10.1126/science.abb1258. S2CID 214403147.
  13. ^ "Jonathan Pruitt". 500 Queer Scientists. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Viglione, Giuliana (13 February 2020). "'Avalanche' of spider-paper retractions shakes behavioural-ecology community". Nature. 578 (7794): 199–200. Bibcode:2020Natur.578..199V. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00287-y. PMID 32047306.
  15. ^ "Top Spider Biologist's Research Under Fire". The Scientist Magazine®. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  16. ^ Pennisi, Elizabeth (12 March 2020). "Embattled spider biologist seeks to delay additional retractions of problematic papers". Science. doi:10.1126/science.abb7068. S2CID 216352739.
  17. ^ "Social Spiders and Science Fraud". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Retraction Watch Database". Retraction Watch. Center for Scientific Integrity. Retrieved 2021-12-28.

External links[edit]