Professor Leone Spiccia

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


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

Professional Profile

  • 2006- Professor of Chemistry, Monash 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
  • 1998-05 Reader in Chemistry, Monash University
  • 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

Associations and Awards

  • ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award 
  • 2012 RACI HG Smith Medal
  • 2010 Humboldt Research Award
  • 2007 Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Fellow, Dresden, Germany
  • 2005 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Postgraduate Supervision, Monash University
  • 2004- Member of the American Chemical Society
  • 1996- Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • 1978- Member of the Royal Australian Chemical institute

Teaching commitments

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
  • 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 inorganic (nano)materials for use in 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, perovskite based solar cells
  • Metal ion speciation and complexation in aqueous solution
  • Use of aqueous oxide and hydroxide clusters to understand geochemical reactions
  • Application of immobilized macrocyclic metal complexes in biomolecule purification
  • 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 Alzheimer’s disease
  • Development of multimodal nanomaterials for the imaging and treatment of cancer.

In addition to collaborating with colleagues in chemistry, projects are being jointly pursued with local and international research partners from:

  • Monash: Materials Engineering, Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences and Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy
  • Australia: CSIRO, the Adelaide Museum, the Universities of Adelaide, Deakin, LaTrobe, Melbourne and Wollongong, and James Cook University
  • Overseas: UC Berkeley, Davis and San Diego, the Universities of Bochum, Heidelberg, Würzburg and Zurich, EPF Lausanne, Freie University, Kyoto University, 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), VSA and SERD grants from the Victorian State Government to the Victorian Organic Solar Cell (VICOSC) Consortium, the Helmholtz ‘Nanotracking’ Virtual Institute and the US National Science Foundation
  • Over 290 refereed publications and patents
  • Over 30 invited talks at local and international conferences in last 10 years
  • Invitations to give lectures at many 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.