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Lydia M. Peschel, PhD

Lydia began her Master thesis in our group in October 2011, where she laid the foundation for our ongoing tungsten chemistry. Early on she showed her talent for synthesizing new compounds, working under inert conditions and especially for crystallizing newly prepared complexes. She successfully finished her Master thesis in September of 2012 and continued with her PhD thesis in our group. She was still the same determined, motivated and meticulous student, and soon she developed her famous "gut feeling" for her chemistry. Her scientific breakthrough came early in January of 2014, when she had isolated and crystallized her first tungsten-acetylene complex. From this point on it was clear that her PhD thesis would be a successful one, only 15 months into it. These first results were finally published in 2015 in Angewandte Chemie. Later this year, Lydia attended the ACS fall meeting in Boston. The final year of her PhD was similarly successful, as Lydia generated an impressive amount of results and crystal structures in her tungsten project. She defended her PhD on Jun. 17th 2016. Her promising scientific career was cut short by a sudden and severe illness. Lydia passed away on Sep. 2nd 2016. The void that she left, both as an esteemed colleague as well as a dear friend will never be filled.


Dr. Lydia Peschel Memorial Award

In recognition of Lydia's achievements in chemistry, and to uphold the memory of her, her familiy initiated an award in her name. This monetary award is intended for students working on their BSc-, MSc- or PhD thesis in our group, who are similarly successfull as Lydia. Selected students will receive 200€ for a BSc-, 400€ for a MSc- and 1000€ for a PhD thesis. The money will be awarded via nomination by a four-membered commitee. The exact guidelines for the award can be found here (in german only). The money is collected by donations. For this purpose an account  has been set up:

Empfänger: Dr. Lydia Peschel Gedächtnispreis

IBAN: AT51 2032 0326 0435 7165

Award recipients

2023 - Cornelia Rom & Marko Rath

Once again we were happy to award two Bachelor theses, that were conducted in our group in 2022. One recipient is Cornelia Rom for her work on our Re project, where she could make a significant contribution to the "Deep Purple" problem. Due to her deep understanding of the matter and her excellent skills in growing single crystals, she was able to isolate and characterize a long sought after, missing isomer. Hence, she found another important piece of the "Deep Purple" puzzle. The second recipient is Marko Rath who worked on our Mn-hydrogenation project. There, we felt his excellent skills in handling our small pressure reactor (everything under inert atmosphere, countless hours in the Glove Box) as well as his persistence and sheer amount of single reactions fully merit this award. His contributions are by now already published ( J. Catal. 2024, 429, 115242). 

2022 - Madeleine Ehweiner PhD

For the first time, the Lydia-Peschel Memorial Award was awarded for a PhD thesis. Madeleine Ehweiner, PhD, received it for her remarkable achievements during her PhD thesis. In her thesis entitled "Nature-Inspired Design and Reactivity of Molybdenum and Tungsten Complexes" Madeleine investigated Tungsten and Molybdenum complexes that can model the function and reactivity of W- and Mo-dependant enzymes. There, Madeleine was very successful, as shown by her 8 publications that resulted from her thesis. We had to use the Chrismas holiday break for the ceremony with Madeleine, as she is currently doing her postdoc at MIT in Boston. We congratulate Madeleine!

2021 - Christa Hofer & Patrik Wind

Christa Hofer did her BSc. project "Synthesis of Mn(I) mimics of [Fe] hydrogenase for heterolytic H2 activation with pyridazine-based ligands" under guidance of Fabian Wiedemaier on a new project in our group. There, electrocatalysis with Manganese(I) complexes was investigated. The goal would be to activate small molecules like CO2 and transform them to other useful building blocks. The use of the non-noble metal Mn is of special interest.

Patrik Wind did his BSc. project "Katalytische Addition einfacher Organohalogene an Alkene durch Molybdändioxido basierte Frustrierte Lewis Paare" under guidance of Antoine Dupé  and worked on an our ongoing Molybdenum project. By generating a frustrate Lewis-pair (FLP) with a sterically demanding, non-coordinating anion a whole range of new reactivities become accessible, that are not shown by the Mo-complex alone. One of these reactivities would the functionalization of olefins with various small molecules.

Niklas Stix 2020

This year we are awarding the excellent BSc thesis "Exploring the Reactivity of the W-6-MePyS System" by Niklas Stix, supervised by Madeleine Ehweiner. Also Niklas worked on our ongoing Acetylene Hydratase project, that was started so successfully by Lydia. Not only did Niklas show great skills in the lab, but also wrote an excellen BSc thesis draft afterwards. Because of Corona we could only do a very small ceremony this year, and sadly also Lydia's parents could not attend.

Lea Brandner 2019

For the first time in 2019 we are awarding a Master thesis. Lea Brandner received the Memorial Award for her Master thesis entitled "Alkyne Activation on Bio-inspired Tungsten Complexes". The lab work was done in the group of Prof. Martin L. Kirk at the University of New Mexiko. As part of Lea's Master thesis, the W model complexes were also analyzed a the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SSRL.

Susanne Fischer, 2018

for her BSc-Thesis "Tris-(thiopyridazinyl)methane based zinc complexes: Synthesis, characterization and theoretical calculations of stabilities", conducted between April and May of 2017 under the guidance of Michael Tüchler.

Michael Buchsteiner, 2017

for his BSc-Thesis "Alkyne Activation on Biomimetic Tungsten Centers", conducted between April and May of 2016 under the guidance of Lydia Peschel.

Planting a tree

On Sep. 1st 2017 we planted a tree in commemoration of Lydia on the southern lawn, right in front of the Chemitry building. We decided to plant a hornbeam and also put a memorial plate in front of Lydia's tree. We would like to thank the University, Abteilung Gebäude und Technik, for being very helpful and cooperative in this special request.

Lydia's publication list

  • Fürpaß K.M., Peschel L.M., Schachner J.A., Borisov S.M., Krenn H., Belaj F., Mösch-Zanetti N.C. Vapochromism and Magnetochemical Switching of a Nickel(II) Paddlewheel Complex by Reversible NH3 Uptake and Release. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 13401-13404.
  • Schachner, J. A.; Wiedemaier, F.; Zwettler, N.; Peschel, L. M.; Boese, A. D.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Catalytic reduction of nitrate by an oxidorhenium(V) complex. J. Catal. 2021, 397, 108-115.
  • Peschel, L. M.; Vidovič, C.; Belaj, F.; Neshchadin, D.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Activation and Photoinduced Release of Alkynes on a Biomimetic Tungsten Center: The Photochemical Behavior of the W-S-Phoz System. Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 3893–3902.
  • Holzer, C.; Dupé, A.; Peschel, L.M.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N.C. "Mercaptoaryl-Oxazoline Complexes of Palladium and Their High Activities as Catalysts for Suzuki-Miyaura Coupling Reactions in Water", Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 5, 568-575.
  • Peschel, L. M.; Schachner, J. A.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Dinuclear Mo(V) Complexes of Thiophenolate-oxazoline Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization and Exceptional Activity in Catalytic Olefin Epoxidation. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 2808-2817.
  • Peschel, L. M.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Towards Structural-Functional Mimics of Acetylene Hydratase: Reversible Activation of Acetylene using a Biomimetic Tungsten Complex. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 13018–13021.
  • Peschel, L. M.; Holzer, C.; Mihajlović-Lalić, L.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Coordinative Flexibility of a Thiophenolate Oxazoline Ligand in Nickel(II), Palladium(II), and Platinum(II) Complexes. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 1569–1578.
  • Schachner, J. A.; Terfassa, B.; Peschel, L. M.; Zwettler, N.; Belaj, F.; Cias, P.; Gescheidt, G.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. Oxorhenium(V) Complexes with Phenolate–Oxazoline Ligands: Influence of the Isomeric Form on the O-Atom-Transfer Reactivity. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 12918–12928.
  • Peschel, L. M.; Schachner, J. A.; Sala, C. H.; Belaj, F.; Mösch-Zanetti, N. C. An Update on WII and MoII Carbonyl Precursors and Their Application in the Synthesis of Potentially Bio-Inspired Thiophenolate-Oxazoline Complexes. Z. anorg. allg. Chem. 2013, 639, 1559–1567.


Head of group Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nadia C. Mösch-Zanetti Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5286



Sára Pungor

Institut für Chemie

Institut für Chemie

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5285


Institute of Chemistry/Inorganic Chemistry Schubertstraße 1/III, 8010 Graz, Austria
Monika Tschapelnig MA Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5285
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9835

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