Avner Vengosh


Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

My research aims to link environmental geochemistry and isotope hydrology in order to trace the sources and mechanisms of water contamination and relationships with human health. Current research includes global changes of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water resources due to human intervention and contamination, salinization of water resources in the Middle East and Northern Africa, naturally occurring contaminants (arsenic, fluoride, boron) and radioactivity in water resources, the impact of coal combustion residues on the environment, and the impact of gas drilling and hydro-fracking on the quality of shallow groundwater.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Professor of Geochemistry and Water Quality at Duke Kunshan University
  • Research Professor of Global Health
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 681-8050
  • Email Address: vengosh@duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Australian National University (Australia), 1990
  • M.S. Hebrew University, 1986
  • B.S. Hebrew University, 1984

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Leadership award by the Water-Rock Interaction (WRI) Working Group, . International Association of Geochemistry. 2019
  • Paper “Large-scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India” was selected as one of the best papers for 2018 . Editors of Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 2019
  • Paper “The geochemistry of naturally occurring methane and saline groundwater in an area of unconventional shale gas development” was selected to be the winner of the 2018 Dalway Swaine Award. Society for Organic Petrology . 2018
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) Fellow. Geological Society of America. 2015

Courses Taught

  • ENERGY 524: Water Quality Health
  • ENERGY 729S: The Water-Energy Nexus
  • ENVIRON 524: Water Quality Health
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • EOS 393: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 394: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 524: Water Quality Health
  • EOS 527: International Water Resources
  • EOS 729S: The Water-Energy Nexus
  • EOS 791: Independent Study
  • GLHLTH 534: Water Quality Health

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Coyte, RM; McKinley, KL; Jiang, S; Karr, J; Dwyer, GS; Keyworth, AJ; Davis, CC; Kondash, AJ; Vengosh, A, Occurrence and distribution of hexavalent chromium in groundwater from North Carolina, USA., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 711 (2020) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135135] [abs].
  • Gao, J; Zou, C; Li, W; Ni, Y; Liao, F; Yao, L; Sui, J; Vengosh, A, Hydrochemistry of flowback water from Changning shale gas field and associated shallow groundwater in Southern Sichuan Basin, China: Implications for the possible impact of shale gas development on groundwater quality., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 713 (2020) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136591] [abs].
  • Coyte, RM; Vengosh, A, Factors controlling the risks of co-occurrence of the redox-sensitive elements of arsenic, chromium, vanadium, and uranium in groundwater from the eastern United States., Environmental Science & Technology (2020) [10.1021/acs.est.9b06471] [abs].
  • Wang, Z; Dwyer, GS; Coleman, DS; Vengosh, A, Lead Isotopes as a New Tracer for Detecting Coal Fly Ash in the Environment, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, vol 6 no. 12 (2019), pp. 714-719 [10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00512] [abs].
  • Vengosh, A; Cowan, EA; Coyte, RM; Kondash, AJ; Wang, Z; Brandt, JE; Dwyer, GS, Evidence for unmonitored coal ash spills in Sutton Lake, North Carolina: Implications for contamination of lake ecosystems., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 686 (2019), pp. 1090-1103 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.188] [abs].