Professor Steven Rawlings died at a colleague's home following a night out
Professor Steven Rawlings died at a colleague's home following a night out Oxford University

An Oxford professor arrested following the death of a colleague at his home has been bailed.

The body of Professor Steven Rawlings, an astrophysicist, was found at the home of Dr Devinder Sivia, 49, a mathematics professor, late on Wednesday.

Paramedics were called to the bungalow in Southmoor, Oxfordforshire, and attempted to revive Rawlings, 50, but he died at the scene. An initial post-mortem examination has proved inconclusive.

Sivia was arrested and held for two days, before being released on bail until April 18.

"The investigation is still in the early stages. We are endeavouring to establish what happened in the house and are keeping an open mind until all our inquiries are concluded," said Det Supt Rob Mason, of Thames Valley police's major crime unit.

"We are liaising closely with Oxford University. It is clear that [Professor Rawlings] was well respected and liked within the college and colleagues and students have been devastated by the news."

Professor Roger Davies, head of the astrophysics department at the university, said his colleagues were in "absolute shock" over the death.

"The entire university community has been profoundly saddened and shocked by the tragic and untimely death of Professor Steve Rawlings. Our thoughts are with his family and friends," said Professor Andrew Hamilton, university vice-chancellor.

Rawlings lectured in chemistry and physics and played a significant role in the redevelopment of the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall. He co-authored a book with Sivia called Foundations of Science Mathematics, published in 1999.

Police have confirmed that a 49-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the death and bailed. No other suspects are being sought.