Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories (WACL)

FAAM aircraft

Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements Research Aircraft - FAAM BAe-146 used by the UK atmospheric research community on campaigns throughout the world

London pollution‌‌‌

Our research is used to develop new understandings of the emissions of NOx from vehicles, cities and from the natural environment, enabled using advanced measurement technologies

WACL lab‌‌

The laboratories house a suite of state of the art instrumentation, designed for measuring the composition of the atmosphere

View from CVAO‌‌‌

Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) for long term measurements

The Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories were established in 2013 and comprise a state of the art 800 m2 dedicated research building, the first of its kind in the UK. Supported by a large award from the Wolfson Foundation and a private donor, the Laboratories enable experimental and theoretical studies relating to the science of local and global air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change. The Laboratories are operated as collaborative venture between the University of York and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), co-locating around 40 researchers from seven academic groups and from NCAS. The Laboratories are also home to independent research fellows, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and final year undergraduate research projects.


Atmospheric globe

The Atmospheric Chemistry group study gas and aerosol phase processes in the atmosphere using experimental and modelling approaches. Our main interests are in technology development for atmospheric science; high quality, ultra sensitive atmospheric measurements; fundamental physico-chemical research; land and ocean exchange with the atmosphere; development of highly detailed chemical mechanisms; global modelling of the atmosphere.

Research is conducted in the laboratory and also out in the field, on the ground, on ships and in the air.  The group run the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory for long-term measurements and also takes part in shorter field campaigns and has visited locations such as Tasmania, Borneo and Antarctica.

Atmospheric chemistry activity

Postgraduate Training

We offer MSc and PhD postgraduate training within the Laboratories.  We are part of two doctoral training partnerships (DTP): the Natural Environment Research Council SPHERES DTP  alongside the University of Leeds and the EU funded CAPACITIE,  a Marie Curie Initial Training Network.  In addition, we will consider partly or fully funded students on a case-by-case basis.

UK applicants should have a First or 2:1 degree in Chemistry or a related discipline, or have a 2:2 degree and also a Masters qualification.

Follow the link for details on current SPHERES students at York.

Undergraduate Teaching

The atmospheric chemistry staff teach on a variety of undergraduate chemistry courses including Chemical Kinetics, Surface Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate, Clean Technology, Analytical and Forensic Chemistry and Air Quality and Human Health.

Every year we offer both BSc and MChem research projects on a wide range of topics, covering laboratory, theoretical and computer modelling work. 


The Laboratories house a suite of state of the art instrumentation, designed for measuring the composition of the atmosphere.   These highly sensitivity instruments can also be applied to many other applications and we actively encourage users and collaborators from academic institutions and commercial enterprises.