Nicole C Rockey

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Nicole C. Rockey’s research aims to reduce infectious disease burden by better understanding the persistence of viral pathogens in the built environment. She uses both laboratory and modeling approaches to establish transmission risks and identify engineering interventions that will aid in developing robust, sustainable responses to microbial threats. Dr. Rockey joined the Duke Faculty in August 2023 after completing a postdoctoral position at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. She received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 121 Hudson Hall, Box 90287, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 613 8847
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • B.S. University of Texas, Austin, 2013
  • M.S. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2016
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2021

Research Interests

Environmental persistence of endemic and emerging pathogens, mechanisms of virus inactivation, environmental virology, development and identification of engineering controls to reduce infectious disease burden, detection of microbes in air, water, and on surfaces

Courses Taught

  • CEE 661L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)
  • BME 565L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)

Representative Publications

  • Chaplin, Mira, Kaming Leung, Aleksandra Szczuka, Brianna Hansen, Nicole C. Rockey, James B. Henderson, and Krista R. Wigginton. “Linear Mixed Model of Virus Disinfection by Free Chlorine to Harmonize Data Collected across Broad Environmental Conditions.” Environmental Science & Technology 58, no. 27 (July 2024): 12260–71.
  • Longest, Alexandra K., Nicole C. Rockey, Seema S. Lakdawala, and Linsey C. Marr. “Review of factors affecting virus inactivation in aerosols and droplets.” Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 21, no. 215 (June 2024): 18.
  • Le Sage, Valerie, Nicole C. Rockey, Andrea J. French, Ryan McBride, Kevin R. McCarthy, Lora H. Rigatti, Meredith J. Shephard, et al. “Potential pandemic risk of circulating swine H1N2 influenza viruses.” Nature Communications 15, no. 1 (June 2024): 5025.
  • Rockey, Nicole C., Valerie Le Sage, Linsey C. Marr, and Seema S. Lakdawala. “Seasonal influenza viruses decay more rapidly at intermediate humidity in droplets containing saliva compared to respiratory mucus.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 90, no. 2 (February 2024): e0201023.
  • Sage, Valerie Le, Nicole C. Rockey, Kevin R. McCarthy, Andrea J. French, Meredith J. Shephard, Ryan McBride, Jennifer E. Jones, et al. “Potential pandemic risk of circulating swine H1N2 influenza viruses.” Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, January 6, 2024.