A SCOTTISH researcher who works at NASA in Maryland has been recognised for his luxuriant flowing hair.

Dr Andrew Sayer, who researches remote atmospheric sensing at the US space agency, was named Man of the Year 2016 by the journal Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), which maintains the luxuriant flowing hair club for scientists.

AIR, which also runs the annual Ig Nobel Prizes for daft but thought-provoking scientific research, has been naming a woman and man of the year since 2003, celebrating the fact that many scientists - male and female - have coiffures of impressive length and quality.

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"The public loves to see and applaud scientists who have luxuriant flowing hair, a luxuriant head of former hair, or luxuriant flowing facial hair," the journal states.

Aberdeen-born Dr Sayer, who has also lived in Kilmacolm, is a physicist studying particles in the atmosphere based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA.

His photo on a 2010 NASA website shows him with short hair, but he has since been growing it and claims this has contributed to his work.

"The long hair certainly helps in my research, which is basically examining things from a distance," he told AIR, adding: "I was initially sceptical but, after a lot of gentle prodding from my girlfriend, I started using conditioner when washing my hair. The results of my several-year scientific experiment into this have revealed that it really is better than using shampoo alone.

"Now that I have been awarded this honour, I hope that my parents will be proud of me."

The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists' woman of the year was Danish Phd student Nastasia Okulova, an expert in nanotechnology and polymers.

AIR's Ig Nobel prizes are annual awards for research from around the world which makes you laugh, then makes you think.

Previous winners have included scientists who have shed light on a weird and wonderful range of topics including homosexual necrophilia in mallard ducks, the amount of force needed to drag sheep over various surfaces and the optimal way to dunk a biscuit.