A British university has apologized to a Ph.D. student for throwing away his treasured collection of lizard excrement.

Daniel Bennett has told Times Higher Education magazine that he had collected the dung in the Philippines while studying the rare butaan lizard, a relative of the Komodo dragon. The material was to be studied as part of his doctoral research.

Bennett says the 77 pound bag was thrown away by cleaners at his lab at Leeds University in northern England.

He says the dung represented seven years' field work, and its loss "left me reeling."

The university said Friday it had apologized.

Bennett says he rejected the university's offer of $750 compensation and will "see them in court."