Luke Tilley did his undergraduate biology degree at the University of Sheffield within the Animal and Plant Sciences Department. At Sheffield, Luke mainly focussed on whole-organism ecology and zoology, and he developed a devotion to insects and entomological research. He went on to do a PhD in entomology at the University of York, working on parasitic wasps as biocontrol agents for horticultural pests. During his time at York, his enthusiasm for insects continued to grow and he became the UK postgraduate representative for the Royal Entomological Society and organised student entomology conferences and public events, including the first Insect Festival in York which he continues to organise to this day.
After his PhD, Luke worked for several years as a research manager at Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC), North Yorkshire. At STC, he managed projects on invertebrate biodiversity, and horticultural and agricultural entomology. He also worked on educational projects and campaigns around Yorkshire. Whilst working at STC, Luke was elected a Fellow of The Royal Entomological Society and appointed National Insect Week (NIW) Coordinator. NIW is a biennial campaign, organised by the RES, the aim of the week is to remind everyone of the importance of insects and entomology in their everyday lives, achieved through a national programme of events and activities. Still at STC, Luke began to work as technical editor and editorial support for the scientific journal Ecological Entomology.
Since 2012, Luke has been the Director of Outreach and Development for the Royal Entomological Society. This role involves overseeing the external affairs of the RES to help achieve its principal aim of “the improvement and diffusion of entomological science”. Most of his time is spent organising events and campaigns, managing publications and outreach programmes, and giving talks. He also coordinates the educational and media activities of the Society. The next National Insect Week is 20 -26 June 2016, when the country will be encouraged to celebrate the “little things that run the world”.