A Scottish university has paid tribute to an "exemplary" student after he died suddenly in his sleep while holidaying in the French Alps.

Oliver Vaux, 20, died on May 26 after returning from a boat trip on a river.  The third-year Physics student at the University of St Andrews had recently been elected to be captain of its canoe club in the year to come.

He was described as 'well-known and well-liked by students and staff', and 'passionate about science and sharing his knowledge of stardust with all who knew and loved him', in a statement by the university.

The 20-year-old who lived in Birnam in Perthshire had planned to work abroad in his field and hoped to do a PhD.  Dr Hamid Ohadi said: “Oliver was an exemplary student.

"He was a rare combination of intelligence and hard work, but also incredibly polite and mindful of his impact and words on others around him.”

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE wrote: "Enthusiastic about the Canoe Club, Oliver had been elected to become their Captain for the year to come.

"It was on a canoeing holiday in the French Alps that he died in his sleep, surrounded by friends, after spending the day on the river doing what he loved.

"Oliver is survived by his mother Gail, father Mike and sister Elise.

"Oliver had shown a keen interest in taking his studies further and wider and had planned to continue his studies to PhD level and to make use of opportunities to study and work abroad.

"A young man with huge potential, Oliver embraced life and enjoyed being fully present for his friends and family.

"He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Gail, Mike, Elise, Oliver’s wider family and friends, and those who knew and studied with him."

A Service of Celebration will be held on Friday, June 17 at 4pm in the Birnam Arts Centre, Birnam, Dunkeld.