History to the Group

The Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG) was established in the 1990s by Prof JJ Pienaar with a specific focus on studying the reaction kinetics of atmospheric chemical species. In 2008, Prof PG van Zyl and Prof JP Beukes took over the management of the ACRG, during which the focus of research shifted towards ground-based in-situ measurements of atmospheric chemical species on local and regional scales. Atmospheric chemistry research related to laboratory investigations, satellite observations and modelling is also conducted. A multidisciplinary approach is followed whereby expertise is drawn from leading atmospheric scientists from across the globe. The ACRG has attracted substantial funding from industry and government to fund research activities. Over 40 postgraduate studies have been completed during the last 15 years, while ~90 research papers were published during the same period. The ACRG has a strong national and international footprint, with specifically good ties with the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Finland, as well as the Laboratoire d’ Aerologiue in Toulouse. In 2019, the ACRG was included as the atmospheric node of BIOGRIP (Biogeochemistry Research Infrastructure Project) – a research infrastructure platform of the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) within the framework of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap. Dr K Jaars joined the ACRG in 2021 as co-manager after the departure of Prof Beukes.