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 July 21, 2018 and can commence as soon as possible thereafter. Detailed information, including application requirements, are available in the position description.

Recent CAC News

June 2018: A new paper on aerosol particle distributions led by CAC PhD student Doreena Dominick was published in Atmospheric Environment. The study found that particle number concentrations measured during the aerosol measurements period of the MUMBA campaign were influenced by marine and urban air. Overall, distinct sources of particle number were identified which were traffic emissions, industrial activities and marine aerosol. Biogenic sources influenced secondary organic aerosols formation. Particle number concentrations were also strongly influenced by sea breezes that carry particles from sources in and around Sydney (north easterly winds) as well as Port Kembla Steel Works and the urban areas (winds from the south). Other CAC co-authors include Stephen Wilson, Clare Paton-Walsh, and Elise-Andree Guerette.

May 2018: A new paper on PM2.5 emissions from tropical peat fires in Malaysia led by CAC researchers Chris Roulston, Clare Paton-Walsh (Murphy) and Elise-Andree Guerette has just been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. The study found unexpectedly large emissions of fine particulates that contribute to “haze” events of extreme pollution in southeast Asia. Interestingly the study also discovered a previously unidentified phenomenon that causes the emissions to drop rapidly as the ash layer is formed above the burning peat.

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.