Katharine Giles: Scientist Dies In Bike Crash

Katharine Giles: Scientist Dies In Bike Crash

An expert in global warming killed while cycling to work has been described as a "talented scientist" who "had a bright future ahead of her".

Dr Katharine Giles, who worked at University College London (UCL), was involved in a collision with a lorry in central London on Monday.

Her death comes just three months after senior colleague, Professor Seymour Laxon, 49, died in a fall, hitting his head and suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Dr Giles, 35, had done pioneering work on climate change, carrying out important research relating to the Arctic and Antarctic.

The scientist had conducted experiments investigating sea ice thickness, and shown how winds affected the newly-exposed Arctic Ocean.

Head of UCL's earth sciences department, Professor Philip Meredith, told staff and students: "Coming so soon after the accidental death of Katharine's own closest colleague, we are all left with a sense of the outrageous unfairness with which some of our best colleagues have been taken from us.

"Katharine had a bright future ahead of her.

"She graduated with a first class degree in earth and space sciences from UCL, studied under Seymour for her PhD, and went on to forge her own career as a research fellow and most recently as a university lecturer."

Other people paid tribute on Twitter. Physiology lecturer Mark Hines ‏said: "Devastated 2 hear today about death of a friend in a cycling accident in London."

Mathias Disney said: "So sorry to hear about death of Katherine Giles UCL colleague & outstanding polar researcher. Just awful & so soon after Seymour Laxon."

Ally Skeats ‏said: "So sad to hear the news about Dr Katharine Giles. Such a young, intelligent life taken too soon."

David J Carr ‏added: "Katharine Giles was one of the most wonderful people I have ever & will ever know. The world is worse for her absence, better for her memory."

Dr Giles' family said: "Katharine was a talented scientist responsible for groundbreaking work on global warming. Her family are very grateful for all the support and appreciation shown to them over this tragic loss."

Scotland Yard said the collision took place at the junction of Palace Street and Victoria Street, near Victoria Station, at 8.25am on Monday.

Dr Giles, from west London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The male driver of the HGV lorry stopped at the scene. He was not arrested.

Any witnesses were asked to call the road death investigation unit at Catford, south east London on 020 8285 1574.