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.

Current PhD Opportunities

The Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry is currently offering opportunities for up to two highly motivated PhD students to work on the project Tackling Atmospheric Chemistry Grand Challenges in the Southern Hemisphere. The positions will remain open until filled and start dates are flexible, but preference will be given to applicants who apply before March 31, 2018 and can commence as soon as possible thereafter. Detailed information, including application requirements, are available in the position description.

Recent CAC News

December 2017: CAC masters student Neil Page won 3rd place in the American Geophysical Union's 2017 Fall Virtual Poster Showcase. Neil's presentation, Using observations and modelling to quantify mercury biogeochemical cycling in the Australian context, highlighted results from his recently submitted masters thesis. Congratulations Neil!

November 2017: CAC joined the EMeRGe-Asia Mission. Megacity emissions affect the Earth’s radiative budget but our knowledge on megacity emissions is still quite limited and inadequate.The EMeRGe project was initiated and led by Prof. John Burrows FRS (University of Bremen, Germany). The project aims to improve the knowledge and prediction of the transport and transformation patterns of pollutant outflows from major population centers and will utilize the German Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO). CAC researcher Voltaire Velazco participated in the EMeRGe workshop in Bremen then visited the groups of Prof. Koppmann in Wuppertal and the DLR near Munich to learn how to operate the portable air sampler and tracer release mechanism to be used during EMeRGe-Asia in March 2018.

November 2017: A new paper led by CAC's Jenny Fisher and co-authored by Nicholas Deutscher was published in Geoscientific Model Development. The paper describes an improved method for simulating carbon monoxide, a tracer of pollution and fire influence, in the GEOS-Chem model. It also uses the Australian TCCON data to highlight the benefits of using the new simulation.

November 2017: Members of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Scientific Steering Committee were charmed by the local resident kangaroos at Murramarang during their annual meeting in November. The meeting was hosted by CAC director Clare Murphy thanks to sponsorship from the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health’s Forefront of Research Events funding. CAC also hosted the 2017 Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry Observations and Modelling Conference.

November 2017: Dr. Michel Grutter de la Mora of the Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera in the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, visited the University of Wollongong to see the observatory operated by the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry and discuss opportunities for furthering existing collaborations in the field of solar remote sensing of atmospheric trace gases.

November 2017: CAC members Jenny Fisher and Stephen Wilson published an "Explainer" in The Conversation: Hydrofluorocarbons saved the ozone layer, so why are we banning them?

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.