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

October 2018: A study on measurements of some nitrogen oxides in Melbourne air has just been published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The research was the result of a collaboration between members of the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry (Stephen Wilson and Nicholas Jones), the University of Melbourne, the Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Heidelberg. The surprising finding was that at a site that is not very polluted by world standards there was a large source of HONO during the day. During some days this represented the dominant source of the hydroxyl radical, the major atmospheric cleansing agent of the atmosphere.

September 2018: Several CAC researchers and PhD students attended the 15th International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Science Conference, which was held jointly with the 14th international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP) Quadrennial Symposium in Takamatsu, Japan. CAC Director and IGAC Steering Committee Member Clare Murphy was also in attendance at the pre-conference scientific meetings and met the staff from the journal Atmosphere at their conference booth.

August 2018: CAC researcher Nicholas Deutscher was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to work on measuring greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and understanding what causes their variability. His project, Novel techniques for interpreting atmospheric variability and its drivers, will make extensive use of the AirCore measurement technique in and existing measurements made by CAC, combined with atmospheric modelling, to improve greenhouse gas emissions estimates and understand how these are likely to evolve in a changing climate.

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.