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: (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

Representative Publications

  • Chaplin, Mira, James Henderson, Kaming Leung, Aleksandra Szczuka, Brianna Hansen, Nicole C. Rockey, and Krista Wigginton. “Linear Mixed Model of Virus Disinfection by Chlorine to Harmonize Data Collected Across Broad Environmental Conditions.” Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, September 12, 2023.
  • Rockey, Nicole, Valerie Le Sage, Linsey Marr, and Seema Lakdawala. “Seasonal influenza viruses decay more rapidly at intermediate humidity in droplets containing saliva compared to respiratory mucus.” BioRxiv, 2023.
  • Rockey, Nicole C., James B. Henderson, Kaitlyn Chin, Lutgarde Raskin, and Krista R. Wigginton. “Predictive Modeling of Virus Inactivation by UV.” Environmental Science & Technology 55, no. 5 (March 2021): 3322–32.
  • Rockey, Nicole C., Yun Shen, Sarah-Jane Haig, Madeleine Wax, James Yonts, Krista R. Wigginton, Lutgarde Raskin, and Terese M. Olson. “Impact of service line replacement on lead, cadmium, and other drinking water quality parameters in Flint, Michigan.” Environmental Science: Water Research &Amp; Technology 7, no. 4 (2021): 797–808.
  • Rockey, Nicole, Suzanne Young, Tamar Kohn, Brian Pecson, Christiane E. Wobus, Lutgarde Raskin, and Krista R. Wigginton. “UV Disinfection of Human Norovirus: Evaluating Infectivity Using a Genome-Wide PCR-Based Approach.” Environmental Science & Technology 54, no. 5 (March 2020): 2851–58.