A SCIENTIST has received a prestigious award for his work in increasing knowledge about the threats faced by the world's bee populations.

Dr Christopher Connolly, a neuroscientist from the University of Dundee, has received the Stephen Fry Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research 2013.

The annual award celebrates the members of the university who have made the greatest contribution to engaging with the public by sharing their research with a wider audience.

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Dr Connolly, a Reader in the Division of Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, has focussed on how bees provide essential services to the world's ecosystem, contributing around £130 billion to the world's economies every year while supporting much of the world's food production.

Dr Jon Urch, Public Engagement co-ordinator at the University, said: "Chris Connolly has established himself as the UK's leading expert on bee biology and populations, but in order to do this he had to build relationships with a variety of stakeholders that has enabled him to carry out vitally important research.

"Dr Connolly has made a very important contribution to a subject which affects us all - the future of our food security"

Dr Connolly found that a new parasite, which is threatening to honeybees, was widespread in Scotland.