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

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 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.

January 2017: Dr Nsikanabasi Umo from the Federal University Lafia joins CAC as a Visiting Fellow for January-February. Nsikanabasi will be working with CAC member Jenny Fisher on using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to estimate the contribution of non-Australian and non-anthropogenic sources to ozone (called the "background ozone") in Australian cities. This work forms a contribution to CAC's work as part of the Department of the Environment's Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub.

January 2017: Clare Murphy and Masters student Chris Roulston visited Kuala Lumpur to study particulate pollutants emitted by peat fires that cause the persistent “haze” across Malaysia, with Tom Smith, our collaborator from King’s College London. The “pop-up haze laboratory” was hosted in the yard of Prof Cathy Yule of Monash Malaysia.

January 2017: During their visit to Malaysia, Clare Murphy, Chris Roulston and Tom Smith (of King’s College London) visit Prof Mohd Talib Latif of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, to discuss possible future collaborations to study the devastating air quality impacts of peat fires in the region.

December 2016 / January 2017: CAC has hosted a team of summer students, including UOW Summer Scholars Imogen Wadlow and Jenny Xu; research internship students Alex Kuhar, Lachlan Spicer and Kate Sneesby and Indigenous Research Internship student Stephanie Beaupark. These students have been studying high spatial and temporal variability of air quality in Sydney.

December 2016: CAC PhD student Max Desservettaz attended the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting which took place in San Francisco, between the 12th and 16th of December, where he presented his poster “Comparison of biomass burning inventories processed by global models with total column, surface and satellite data in Australia” and enjoyed discussions with scientists from NASA, NCAR and the University of Texas amongst others.

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.