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
  • Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute
  • 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
  • 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; Singh, A; Furst, KE; Mitch, WA; Vengosh, A, Co-occurrence of geogenic and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater from Rajasthan, India, The Science of the Total Environment, vol 688 (2019), pp. 1216-1227 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.334] [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].
  • Tomlinson, MS; Bommarito, P; George, A; Yelton, S; Cable, P; Coyte, R; Karr, J; Vengosh, A; Gray, KM; Fry, RC, Assessment of inorganic contamination of private wells and demonstration of effective filter-based reduction: A pilot-study in Stokes County, North Carolina., Environmental Research, vol 177 (2019) [10.1016/j.envres.2019.108618] [abs].
  • Furst, KE; Coyte, RM; Wood, M; Vengosh, A; Mitch, WA, Disinfection Byproducts in Rajasthan, India: Are Trihalomethanes a Sufficient Indicator of Disinfection Byproduct Exposure in Low-Income Countries?, Environmental Science & Technology (2019) [10.1021/acs.est.9b03484] [abs].
  • McMahon, PB; Vengosh, A; Davis, TA; Landon, MK; Tyne, RL; Wright, MT; Kulongoski, JT; Hunt, AG; Barry, PH; Kondash, AJ; Wang, Z; Ballentine, CJ, Occurrence and Sources of Radium in Groundwater Associated with Oil Fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, California., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 53 no. 16 (2019), pp. 9398-9406 [10.1021/acs.est.9b02395] [abs].