Avner Vengosh

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

External address: 
205 Old Chemistry Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90230, Durham, NC 27708-0230
(919) 681-8050

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.


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

Jackson, RB, Vengosh, A, Carey, JW, Davies, RJ, Darrah, TH, O'Sullivan, F, and Pétron, G. The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking. October 17, 2014. Full Text

Vengosh, A, weinthal, E, and Neville, KJ. "The Nexus of Energy and Water Quality." In The Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy. 2016. (Chapter) Full Text

Vengosh, A. "Salinization and Saline Environments." In Treatise on Geochemistry, 1-35. December 4, 2003. Full Text

Neville, KJ, Baka, J, Gamper-Rabindran, S, Bakker, K, Andreasson, S, Vengosh, A, Lin, A, Singh, JN, and Weinthal, E. "Debating Unconventional Energy: Social, Political, and Economic Implications (Published online)." Annual Review of Environment and Resources 42, no. 1 (November 2017). Full Text

Rango, T, Vengosh, A, Jeuland, M, Whitford, GM, and Tekle-Haimanot, R. "Biomarkers of chronic fluoride exposure in groundwater in a highly exposed population." The Science of the total environment 596-597 (October 2017): 1-11. Full Text

Szczuka, A, Parker, KM, Harvey, C, Hayes, E, Vengosh, A, and Mitch, WA. "Regulated and unregulated halogenated disinfection byproduct formation from chlorination of saline groundwater. (Accepted)" Water research 122 (October 2017): 633-644. Full Text

Bouchaou, L, Warner, NR, Tagma, T, Hssaisoune, M, and Vengosh, A. "The origin of geothermal waters in Morocco: Multiple isotope tracers for delineating sources of water-rock interactions." Applied Geochemistry 84 (September 2017): 244-253. Full Text

Vengosh, A, Mitch, WA, and McKenzie, LM. "Environmental and Human Impacts of Unconventional Energy Development." Environmental science & technology 51, no. 18 (September 2017): 10271-10273. Full Text Open Access Copy

Harkness, JS, Darrah, TH, Warner, NR, Whyte, CJ, Moore, MT, Millot, R, Kloppmann, W, Jackson, RB, and Vengosh, A. "The geochemistry of naturally occurring methane and saline groundwater in an area of unconventional shale gas development." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 208 (July 2017): 302-334. Full Text

Luo, Y, McCullough, LE, Tzeng, J-Y, Darrah, T, Vengosh, A, Maguire, RL, Maity, A, Samuel-Hodge, C, Murphy, SK, Mendez, MA, and Hoyo, C. "Maternal blood cadmium, lead and arsenic levels, nutrient combinations, and offspring birthweight." BMC public health 17, no. 1 (April 24, 2017): 354-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kondash, AJ, Albright, E, and Vengosh, A. "Quantity of flowback and produced waters from unconventional oil and gas exploration." The Science of the total environment 574 (January 2017): 314-321. Full Text

Vengosh, A, Coyte, R, Karr, J, Harkness, JS, Kondash, AJ, Ruhl, LS, Merola, RB, and Dywer, GS. "Origin of Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water Wells from the Piedmont Aquifers of North Carolina." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 3, no. 12 (December 13, 2016): 409-414. Full Text Open Access Copy

Schwartz, GE, Redfern, LK, Ikuma, K, Gunsch, CK, Ruhl, LS, Vengosh, A, and Hsu-Kim, H. "Impacts of coal ash on methylmercury production and the methylating microbial community in anaerobic sediment slurries." Environmental science. Processes & impacts 18, no. 11 (November 2016): 1427-1439. Full Text


Vengosh, A, Kondash, A, Harkness, J, Lauer, N, Warner, N, and Darrah, TH. "The Geochemistry of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids." 2017. Full Text

Eilers, A, Miller, J, Swana, K, Botha, R, Talma, S, Newman, R, Murray, R, and Vengosh, A. "Characterisation of Radon Concentrations in Karoo Groundwater, South Africa, as a Prelude to Potential Shale-gas Development." 2015. Full Text

Harkness, JS, Ruhl, LS, Millot, R, Kloppman, W, Hower, JC, Hsu-Kim, H, and Vengosh, A. "Lithium Isotope Fingerprints in Coal and Coal Combustion Residuals from the United States." 2015. Full Text

Hamouda, MFB, Kondash, AJ, Lauer, N, Mejri, L, Tarhouni, J, and Vengosh, A. "Assessment of Groundwater Salinity Mechanisms in the Coastal Aquifer of El Haouaria, Northern Tunisia." 2015. Full Text

Vengosh, A, Warner, NR, Kondash, A, Harkness, JS, Lauer, N, Millot, R, Kloppman, W, and Darrah, TH. "Isotopic Fingerprints for Delineating the Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids." 2015. Full Text

Schwartz, GE, Hsu-Kim, H, and Vengosh, A. "Trace element toxins in coal ash: New considerations for identifying environmental risks." August 10, 2014.

O'Connor, MP, Plata, DL, Warner, NR, Vengosh, A, Deshusses, MA, Schreglmann, K, and Elsner, M. "Identifying needs for novel water treatment technologies for flowback water from natural gas extraction." March 16, 2014.


Down, A, Schreglmann, K, Plata, DL, Elsner, M, Warner, NR, Vengosh, A, Moore, K, Coleman, D, and Jackson, RB. Ground water: Pre-drilling background groundwater quality in the Deep River Triassic Basin of central North Carolina, USA. January 1, 2016.

Jackson, RB, Vengosh, A, Carey, JW, Davies, RJ, Darrah, TH, O'Sullivan, F, and Petron, G. The environmental costs and benefits of fracking. January 1, 2016.

Gas and Oil Isotope Sample Analysis awarded by U.S. Geological Survey (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Assessing potential human health impacts associated with the use of oilfield produced water for crop irrigation awarded by Department of Agriculture (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Sichuan Basin Shale Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Fluid Geochemical Features and Environmental Impact awarded by Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2018

Duke University Program in Environmental Health awarded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Mentor). 2013 to 2018

Elucidating Risks: From Exposure and Mechanism to Outcome awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Tracing Groundwater Contamination Near Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina awarded by North Carolina State University (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Tracing Groundwater Contamination Near Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina awarded by North Carolina State University (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Sub from U Missouri: Endocrine disrupting activity assoc w hydraulic fracturing awarded by University of Missouri (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

Fluoride and human health: Assessing novel biomarkers in detecting bone disorder awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2017