Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Welcome to
the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Research at the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry advances understanding of atmospheric trace gas and aerosol chemistry, atmosphere/biosphere exchange of trace gases, and long term changes in atmospheric composition and chemistry - from the laboratory to the field and at local to global scales.

Over more than 20 years, we have established the most intensive atmospheric composition and chemistry research and training program in Australian universities. We collaborate widely in Australian and international atmospheric science communities including other universities, CSIRO, ANSTO, BOM, federal and state government departments and international networks.

Recent CAC News

April 2017: CAC joins forces with Japan’s NIES and the Energy Development Corporation of the Philippines to establish the first Total Carbon Column Observing Network Station in Southeast Asia. A unique collaborative project spearheaded and coordinated by CAC researcher Voltaire Velazco with mentor David Griffith brings together UOW, the Energy Development Corp. (EDC Philippines), a world leader in geothermal energy production, and Japan’s National Inst. for Environmental Studies (NIES) - Japan’s forefront in environmental research, to establish a total carbon observing column network (TCCON) station in the Philippines, described in a new paper led by Voltaire. TCCON Philippines will be the primary tropical validation site for Japan’s GOSAT-2 satellite and is already providing data to NASA’s OCO-2 mission.

April 2017: CAC undergrad (and future Honours student) Jack Simmons' 51-day voyage to Antarctica earlier this year has been profiled in the video Journey of a lifetime and story Out to Sea by UOW's The Stand publication.

March 2017: CAC research scientist Nicholas Jones travelled to Sondakyla, in northern Finland, to take part in a comparison of portable low resolution solar spectrometers to retrieve CO2, CH4 and other gases. The comparison, part of the TCCON program, will run throughout 2017.

March 2017: CAC said farewell to visiting research fellow Dr Nsikanabasi Umo. Nsikanabasi spent two months at UOW using the GEOS-Chem model to estimate the contribution of non-Australian background sources to surface-level ozone in Australia in support of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes hub. We are hoping we will see him back at UOW soon! 

February 2017: CAC PhD student Jesse Greenslade spent two weeks visiting the research group of Professor Paul Palmer at the University of Edinburgh. Jesse worked with the Palmer group on his research using satellite observations to quantify biogenic emissions (part of an ARC Discovery Project) - and also managed time to try haggis and blood pudding and visit 3 museums and a castle!

January-February 2017: Three CAC PhD students -- Doreena Dominic, Jesse Greenslade and Beata Bukosa -- are attending the European Research Courses of Atmospheres (ERCA). ERCA is an international course on atmospheric physics and chemistry, held in Grenoble, France with participants and lecturers from all over the world. The course covers a broad range of climate related topics with high quality lectures, practicals, group projects and debates. Moreover, it gives the opportunity to interact and discuss research with peers and lecturers, to get feedback from them and have an insight on their methods and approaches to different scientific questions and problems.

January-February 2017: CAC undergrad Jack Simmons is headed down to the ice near Antarctica on the RV Investigator. This opportunity is the result of a volunteer scheme through the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry as part of the Polar Cell Aerosol Nucleation project being undertaken by the Oceans and Atmosphere division at CSIRO. You can follow his progress on his blog or at the voyage blog. The project was also profiled in an article in The Guardian.

For more updates from CAC, check out our What's Cool page.

CAC Research Themes


Trace Gas Measurements: 

Determining the amounts, sources and sinks of atmospheric trace gases with solar remote sensing, in situ and flux measurements, including operating two sites in the TCCON and NDACC networks.


Modelling and Analysis: 

Using global models and developing advanced analysis methods to interpret measurements, probe datasets, and test theories of atmospheric composition and chemistry.


Laser Photochemistry and Spectroscopy: 

Investigating photodissociation action spectroscopy, radical chemistry and microdroplet dynamics using pulsed-laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry techniques.


Fire Emissions: 

Using remote-sensing spectrometric techniques to quantify emissions from vegetation fires to the atmosphere.


Agricultural Emissions: 

Developing and applying novel techniques to measure greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices and identifying effective strategies to mitigate emissions from the industry.

Radiation - SIPEX

Solar Radiation and Aerosols: 

Following changes in particles in the atmosphere to understand their impact, formation, and fate.