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

September 2016: CAC members Travis Naylor and Clare Murphy join the ground crew as AIRBOX gets delivered for its inaugural field campaign to Mission Beach, Queensland.

September 2016: CAC members Chris Roulston and Clare Murphy return from a successful field campaign to measure emissions from peat fires in Malaysia in collaboration with Tom Smith of Kings College London.

September 2016: Congratulations to current and former CAC PhD students Matthew Prendergast and Ruhi Humphries who jointly won the 2016 Larry & Marilyn Hick Award, which is awarded for “the best research paper by a HDR student in the School of Chemistry at UOW”.

  • Ruhi’s paper: R. S. Humphries et al. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 2185-2206 (2016).
  • Matthew’s paper: “M. B. Prendergast et al. Formation and stability of gas-phase o-benzoquinone from oxidation of ortho-hydroxyphenyl: a combined neutral and distonic radical study, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18, 4320-4332 (2016). 

August 2016: In August CAC members David Griffith and Stephen Wilson with colleagues from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Charles Sturt University set up a new field measurement site for greenhouse gas emissions on the CSU campus near Wagga Wagga, NSW. The project combines expertise in Radon measurement and micrometeorology at ANSTO with high precision trace gas measurements at UOW in a pilot experiment to measure regional scale emissions of nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide from an agricultural area. The project is funded by UOW- ANSTO Joint Collaborative Seed Project Grant Scheme.

August 2016: CAC and Laser Chemistry Lab Phd student Bart Vaughn’s paper on “Drop-on-demand microdroplet generation: a very stable platform for single-droplet experimentation” is now online in RSC Advances. His paper reports the performance of drop-on-demand piezo-activated microdroplet generation investigated using microdroplet cavity enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy.

August 2016: CAC made an impressive showing at the Australia-New Zealand Aerosol Assembly with talks by CAC members Clare Murphy and Steve Wilson and PhD student Doreena Dominick. Also in attendance were postdoc Elise-Andree Guerette and honours student Tom Keatley, as well as our visitor and UGPN partner Prashant Kumar from the University of Surrey.

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.