Suffolk/London: Devastated parents pay tribute to daughter Dr Katharine Giles who died in cycling accident

Dr Katharine Giles died in a collision in central London

Dr Katharine Giles died in a collision in central London - Credit: Archant

A HEARTBROKEN couple from Suffolk have today paid tribute to their talented daughter who died when she was hit by a truck while cycling to work.

Dr Katharine Giles, a lecturer at University College London (UCL), was crushed to death in a collision with a tipper truck in central London during rush hour on Monday.

The 35-year-old, a celebrated scientist, was a leading expert on climate change. She had recently visited the Arctic and Antarctic for research projects.

In a statement her parents, Robert and Albina, who are from the Ipswich area, 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.”

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Dr Giles graduated from UCL with a first class degree in Earth and space sciences before going on to forge her own career as a research fellow and lecturer at the centre.

She also worked at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling following the death of her colleague, Professor Seymour Laxon, at the end of last year.

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Colleagues at the university were also quick to pay tributes to Dr Giles, whose death came just a few months after Professor Laxon died over the Christmas period.

A spokeswoman said: “Coming so soon after the accidental death of Katharine’s own closest colleague, Professor Seymour Laxon, 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.”

Her death has prompted the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to call for improved safety measures for cyclists in the capital.

He has suggested that no HGV should be allowed to enter London unless it complies with cycle safety equipment.

Last night the Metropolitan Police said they were still investigating the incident.

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