Luke Lythgoe

Communications Officer

Luke’s role is to communicate the science and achievements of the Tree of Life programme, to our research partners around the world and to the public at large. This takes many forms: from in-depth articles and social media posts, to videos from the lab and wildlife photography.

Being the Communications Officer for the Tree of Life programme combines my background in journalism and campaigning with my passion for biodiversity and the natural world. Previously, I have worked as a reporter, a press officer in the civil service, and a campaigner. Although I have no formal background in the sciences, I am happiest wandering the wilderness snapping pictures of plants, animals and fungi to identify and share later — an activity now strongly encouraged in my line of work.

At the Tree of Life programme, I manage the @SangerToL Twitter feed, as well as the separate communication channels for the Darwin Tree of Life project — including the @darwintreelife Twitter and Darwin Tree of Life website. I couldn’t do this without the input of many others and their willingness to share the amazing discoveries and stories behind the science. A huge part of working in a programme like this — with so many projects and teams dotted all over the globe — is communicating our achievements to every colleague and research collaborator. Whether they’re diving on a coral reef or scaling a Scottish mountain, everyone should feel part of this amazing community pushing the boundaries of science. The other key part of the puzzle is getting the public fired up about the amazing genomic discoveries taking place, educating people about how and why we do what we do, and the potential it has to shape all our lives.

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