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Bumblebee surrounded by flowers, photo by Jack Gardiner (Insect Week Under 18 competition 2021)
IW 2021 Watermark Bumble Jack Gardiner U18

Early career

Student Award 2022 results

The Royal Entomological Society is excited to announce the winning, second and third place essay entries of the 2022 RES Student Award. To enter the annual entomology writing competition, students write an 800 word essay in English, on an insect-related topic of interest to the general public.


Image of Duran Nanson
Duran Nanson

Duran Nanson, a MSc Entomology student at Harper Adams University, was awarded first place for Could the pygmy hog-sucking louse be the new mascot of conservation?

Duran said: “As a long time enthusiast of the invertebrate world, I know it is easy to feel incredibly defeated by not only the general public perception of insects, but also the profound and overarching effect this has on research efforts. The article I wrote was a way of sorts for me to vent my frustrations, but it also helped me to face reality and come to terms with the fact that we cannot force the world to appreciate them in exactly the same way we do – all we can do is keep educating, informing, and striving for change. It really was a lot of fun to write and I didn’t think for a second that I would be a winner, but I’m absolutely thrilled and I hope it takes readers on the same journey I embarked upon when writing it, helping to address the complexities of conservation in a way that encourages them to keep fighting for all of the remarkable little creatures around us – even lice!”

Second place

Alexander Wellington, a student at Cardiff University, was awarded second place for Maggots: we deserve equal respect.

Alexander said: “I want to show my genuine gratitude to the Royal Entomological Society for acknowledging me with this prestigious award. This is just an incredible moment and I respect and value this award. Please acknowledge my heartfelt gratitude for this precious award.”

Third place

Gaia Mortier holding a stick insect.
Gaia Mortier holding a stick insect.

Gaia Mortier, a PhD student at the University of Reading, was awarded third place for To Flea or Not To Flea: The Curious History of Flea Circuses.

Gaia said: “It was challenging to write a fun piece about such an uncharismatic species – fleas – but I must say that through it, I learned to truly love those little acrobats! Receiving third place was an absolute treat and honour, and has further motivated me to share my love of insects with the world.”


Prof Adam Hart, Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire and RES Trustee, and Dr Victoria Burton, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Natural History Museum, London and RES Outreach Committee member, judged the entries.

“The standard of entries this year was incredible. There was such a variety of topics and approaches that it made judging even more difficult than usual. It is great to see such enthusiasm and talent – it is a great sign for the future of entomology!”

– Prof. Adam Hart

“The quality of entries was very high again this year and I was pleased to see such a great range of topics, spanning the whole field of insect science. Many entries also showed great graphic design skills, with original illustrations by the author.”

– Dr Victoria Burton

The three essays will be published in the Society’s membership bulletin Antenna later this year.

The 2023 competition will be renamed as the RES Student Science Communication and is now open for entries from students anywhere in the world, the closing date is 31st December 2023.

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