Dr John Gras

Dr John Gras

Dr John Gras: working toward a healthier atmosphere

Dr John Gras leads CSIRO’s research into air pollution for improved air-quality management.

  • 22 March 2006 | Updated 14 October 2011

Dr John Gras leads the Healthy Atmosphere research group at CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research.

Current activities

Dr Gras oversees research to improve our understanding of:

  • individuals’ exposure to air pollutants and the health impacts
  • the urban and regional-scale transport of pollutants and their transformation in the atmosphere
  • how air pollution may be influenced by climate change.

‘Our work has a strong focus on the links between air quality and health,’ says Dr Gras.

‘Our team’s unique capabilities combine advanced numerical modelling and atmospheric composition measurement skills with a broad understanding of atmospheric chemistry.'

'This has enabled us to develop and test advanced tools such as numerical models for predicting how pollutants behave in the atmosphere and methodologies for assessing the risks that they pose.’

Dr Gras oversees research with implications ranging from improved human health to maintaining the ‘health’ of the atmosphere itself.

‘The ability to accurately predict the impacts of air pollutants is important for planning a sustainable and healthy environment for all Australians. Much of our effort goes into research that is directly relevant to air-quality managers and policy makers.'

‘We also get great satisfaction in helping industry directly with cost effective solutions to pollution problems that also benefit the broader community’


Dr Gras joined CSIRO Cloud Physics in 1974.

He has been a scientist with CSIRO Atmospheric Research (now CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research) since 1984.

Dr Gras has an extensive research background in the composition and properties of atmospheric particles, their distribution in the atmosphere and interactions in the broader atmospheric environment.

His research focuses on improving our understanding of the roles played by atmospheric particles in issues ranging from human health to the ‘health’ of the atmosphere itself.

Dr Gras has been the lead aerosol scientist in the Australian Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Program since 1985. The Cape Grim station, managed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, monitors and studies global atmospheric composition in a program lead by CSIRO and the Bureau.

Academic qualifications

Dr Gras was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1974.


Dr Gras is strongly involved with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch and the WMO Working Group on Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry.

Dr Gras has published more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and numerous technical reports on aerosol science. Dr Gras' publications are available online.

Read more about Science for a healthier atmosphere.