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Schools in Science


Leone Spiccia

B.Sc(Hons)(UWA), Ph.D(UWA)

Room: 117, Building 23N, Clayton
Phone: +61 3 9905 4526
Fax: +61 3 9905 4597

Email: Leone
Website: Spiccia Group Webpage


PhD degree, UWA, 1984
Bachelor of Science Honours Degree, UWA, 1978

Professional Profile

  • 2006 Professor of Chemistry, Monash University
  • 2011-12 Specially Appointed Professor, Catalysis Research Centre, Hokkaido University
  • 2008-10 Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences Panel, Australian Research Council
  • 2006-08 Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science, Monash University
  • 2006-07 Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Science, Monash University
  • 2003-06 Deputy Head, School of Chemistry, Monash University
  • 2007 Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Fellow, Germany
  • 1998-05 Reader in Chemistry, Monash University
  • 1997 Visiting Professor University of Heidelberg
  • 1997 Visiting Professor, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
  • 1993-98 Senior Lecturer, Monash University
  • 1987-93 Lecturer, Monash University
  • 1986-87 Post-doctoral Fellowship with Prof AM Sargeson, Australian National University
  • 1984-86 Post-doctoral Fellowship with Prof W Marty, Universite de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • 1983-84 Post-doctoral Fellowship with Prof TW Swaddle, University of Calgary, Canada


  • 2014 Helmholtz Association International Fellowship
  • 2013 RACI Inorganic Division Burrows Award
  • 2013 16 ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award
  • 2012 RACI HG Smith Medal
  • 2010 Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung senior Research Award
  • 2005 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Postgraduate Supervision, Monash University


  • 2013 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2004 Member of the American Chemical Society
  • 1996 Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • 1978 Member of the Royal Australian Chemical institute


General, inorganic and bio-inorganic chemistry level 1-4 courses taught with emphasis on:

  • coordination, inorganic and bio-inorganic chemistry
  • kinetics and reactivity of metal complexes
  • metal ions in biology
  • techniques and methods in inorganic chemistry and advanced problem solving

Research Interests

A primary objective of our research is the understanding of natural phenomena and the translation of concepts from nature into the laboratory (bio-mimicry) to develop new metal complexes and inorganic materials for a diverse variety of applications that include solar energy conversion, therapeutics and biosensors. We apply organic and inorganic synthetic methods to develop metal complexes and inorganic materials with novel properties and function in combination with multiple experimental techniques to examine in detail their structure, spectroscopy and reactivity. Our research covers both fundamental and applied research projects, and is multi-disciplinary in nature, combining chemistry with aspects of biology, biochemistry, medical science, (nano)materials science and engineering, environmental science, earth science and physics.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Catalytic metal complexes and inorganic (nano)materials for use in solar water splitting and CO2 reduction – Solar Fuels
  • Dye sensitized solar cells – coordination complexes and organometallics as DSC redox mediators, novel electrolytes for n- and p-type DSCs.
  • Thin film perovskite solar cells based on organometal halides
  • Metal ion speciation and complexation in aqueous solution and use of aqueous oxide and hydroxide clusters to understand geochemical reactions
  • Metal complexes as mimics for metallo-enzymes
  • High affinity agents for the selective binding and sensing of biomolecules
  • Diagnostics, therapeutics and biosensors based on metal complex-bioconjugates
  • Metal complex – biomolecule conjugates as artificial nucleases and ribonucleases
  • Radiolabelled metal complexes as agents for the diagnosis of cancer and Alzheimer's disease
  • Development of multimodal nanomaterials for the imaging and treatment of cancer.

In addition to collaborating extensively with colleagues in the School of Chemistry, projects are being jointly pursued with numerous local and international research partners:

  • Monash: Materials Engineering, Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, Earth Sciences and the Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Australia: ANU, CSIRO, James Cook and Latrobe University, RMIT,  and the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland and Wollongong
  • Overseas: UC Berkeley and Davis, the Universities of Heidelberg, Messina, Ulm, Würzburg and Zurich, Freie University, Kyoto, Ulm and Warwick University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Forschungszentrum Juelich, Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin and Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

Research Outcomes

  • Substantial research support from the Australian Research Council through the Discovery, Linkage Industry, Linkage International and LIEF programs, and the Australian Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. Major funding is also being received from the Australian Solar Institute, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, VSA and SERD grants from the Victorian State Government to the Victorian Organic Solar Cell (VICOSC) Consortium, various industry partners, the Helmholtz 'Nanotracking' Virtual Institute and the US National Science Foundation
  • Over 290 refereed publications and patents
  • Over 40 invited/keynote/plenary lectures at local and international conferences in last 10 years
  • Many invitations to deliver lectures at local and overseas universities
  • Supervised 33 PhD and 2 Masters students to completion and there are currently 12 PhD students conducting their studies under my supervision
  • Member of International Advisory Boards for Inorganic Chemistry, Nano Energy, Catalysis Letters, Topics in Catalysis, Artificial Photosynthesis and Current Physical Chemistry, and the International Organizing Committee for the International Conference on the Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy

For further details please visit the Spiccia Group webpage.