Ecology and evolutionary biologist Terrie Williams from the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute responded to a dubious distinction with an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. She was named in Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Oklahoma) “Wastebook 2014” for her research on mountain lions. Coburn said Williams had squandered $856,000 of taxpayer money on training mountain lions to walk on a treadmill.

Williams explains the importance of her research in species conservation and its wide-ranging impacts. She describes the devastating effects of reduced funding to scientific research in the US, and wildlife conservation in this particular case, fueled by misinformation such as Coburn’s list.

Read the full op-ed.