COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A University of Missouri adjunct professor died in Thailand while on a winter break study program with about 15 students.

Wayne McDaniel, 64, died Friday while in the Phi Phi islands, which are near the Malay peninsula. University spokesman Christian Basi said Monday the school is working to confirm details of McDaniel's death, The Columbia Tribune reported.

McDaniel was associate director of the Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations and an adjunct engineering professor.

The study trip to Thailand takes students to mangrove swamps, wildlife areas and the Phi Phi islands to study coral reefs. There were 15 students on this year’s trip, with three faculty and staff, including McDaniel, Basi said. The trip began Dec. 26 and the group is due back Sunday.

McDaniel worked to negotiate and license technology developed at the university and helped faculty startups become successful businesses, according to his online biography. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering with a biomedical focus from Missouri.

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