My brother Anthony Luke, who has died aged 55 after a fall in the Glen Coe area of the Scottish Highlands, spent many years working in local government before coming to his true vocation as a chemistry lecturer at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness.

He loved being in the classroom, and made chemistry fun. When the Covid-19 pandemic restricted face-to-face access he showed that he was not fazed by the challenges of remote learning – as attested by his commendations in student awards for “most engaging video conference lecturer” and “most inspiring lecturer”.

Anthony was born in Middlesbrough, the second of five children to Rita (nee Clark) and Adrian Luke, who were both teachers. At St George’s Roman Catholic comprehensive school and St Mary’s Catholic sixth form college he excelled in sciences, and he went on to gain a first-class degree in chemistry at the University of Newcastle, followed by a PhD at the University of Durham.

After his studies he joined Middlesbrough council’s environmental health department, getting stuck into noise abatement patrols and fearlessly breaking up loud parties, even though his musical tastes were grounded in rock music and heavy metal. He also monitored the council’s noise pollution hotline and once took a call from a local resident who told him: “There’s some kids outside my window whistling and I want it stopped.” Eventually he rose to be principal environmental science officer, contributing to local radio and television reports on air pollution monitoring and improvement.

In 1998 Anthony married Helen Northan, who also worked in local government, at Langbaurgh council, and in 2010 they relocated to Inverness, where he worked for the Highlands council. He stayed there for five years as principal officer (contaminated land), monitoring soil in some of the most remote parts of the region and helping the council to develop its contaminated land strategies. Then he switched to lecturing at the university.

He and Helen developed a love of the Highlands and its breathtaking scenery, which Anthony captured with his camera, photography being one of his many hobbies. A talented musician, Anthony was accomplished on the piano, guitar, drums and ukulele. His formative years were spent with my oldest brother, Nick, attending numerous gigs and festivals, and particularly the Monsters of Rock festival at Donnington Park. In 1995 one of the amateur bands he played in, the Guests, released a CD on the independent label Mouse Records, and appeared on a show hosted by Richard Whiteley for Yorkshire Television.

He is survived by Helen, their children, Charlotte, Hannah and James, our mother, his brothers, Nick, Phil and me, and his sister, Catherine.



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