Dr Giles, a lecturer in the university’s earth sciences department, was killed in a crash involving a lorry in the Victoria area of the city on her way to work on 8 April.
In a message to staff and students, head of department Philip Meredith expressed great sadness at the news, calling Dr Giles a talented friend and colleague “with a bright future ahead of her”.
The UCL graduate had forged a career in polar oceanography at the institution, including being awarded a personal fellowship from the Natural Environment Research Council. She had also recently been awarded a lectureship at UCL.
Dr Giles’ tragic death comes soon after the passing of the head of her research group, 49-year-old Seymour Laxon, who died following an accident on New Year’s Day.
Professor Meredith said that following his death, Dr Giles, who was in her thirties, had taken on many commitments in her research group with “bravery and sense of purpose”.
“It was clear that she was ready to provide the next generation of leadership in that field. This makes it all the more difficult for us to accept that Katharine won’t now have the opportunity to reach the heights she was sure to achieve,” he added.
In a statement, her family added: “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.”