Avner Vengosh

Avner Vengosh

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

External address: 
308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90328, 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

Filippelli, Gabriel, Rita Colwell, Susan C. Anenberg, John M. Balbus, Daniela Ceccarelli, Karen Hudson‐Edwards, Antarpreet Jutla, Chiyuan Miao, Paul A. Sandifer, and Avner Vengosh. “Thank You to Our 2018 Peer Reviewers.” Geohealth 3, no. 4 (April 2019): 82–83. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gh000198. Full Text

Tasker, T. L., W. D. Burgos, M. A. Ajemigbitse, N. E. Lauer, A. V. Gusa, M. Kuatbek, D. May, et al. “Accuracy of methods for reporting inorganic element concentrations and radioactivity in oil and gas wastewaters from the Appalachian Basin, U.S. based on an inter-laboratory comparison.Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts 21, no. 2 (February 2019): 224–41. https://doi.org/10.1039/c8em00359a. Full Text

Plata, Desiree L., Robert B. Jackson, Avner Vengosh, and Paula J. Mouser. “More than a decade of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling research.Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts 21, no. 2 (February 2019): 193–94. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9em90004g. Full Text

Burke, Katie. “First Person: Avner Vengosh.” American Scientist 107, no. 5 (2019): 282–282. https://doi.org/10.1511/2019.107.5.282. Full Text

Brandt, J. E., N. E. Lauer, A. Vengosh, E. S. Bernhardt, and R. T. Di Giulio. “Strontium Isotope Ratios in Fish Otoliths as Biogenic Tracers of Coal Combustion Residual Inputs to Freshwater Ecosystems.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 5, no. 12 (December 11, 2018): 718–23. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00477. Full Text

Ni, Yunyan, Caineng Zou, Huiying Cui, Jian Li, Nancy E. Lauer, Jennifer S. Harkness, Andrew J. Kondash, et al. “Origin of Flowback and Produced Waters from Sichuan Basin, China.Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 24 (December 2018): 14519–27. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b04345. Full Text

McMahon, P. B., J. T. Kulongoski, A. Vengosh, I. M. Cozzarelli, M. K. Landon, Y. K. Kharaka, J. M. Gillespie, and T. A. Davis. “Regional patterns in the geochemistry of oil-field water, southern San Joaquin Valley, California, USA.” Applied Geochemistry 98 (November 1, 2018): 127–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.09.015. Full Text

Coyte, R. M., and A. Vengosh. “Response to Comments on "large-Scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India".” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 5, no. 9 (September 11, 2018): 593–94. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00407. Full Text

Kondash, Andrew J., Nancy E. Lauer, and Avner Vengosh. “The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing.Science Advances 4, no. 8 (August 15, 2018): eaar5982. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar5982. Full Text

Schwartz, Grace E., James C. Hower, Allison L. Phillips, Nelson Rivera, Avner Vengosh, and Heileen Hsu-Kim. “Ranking Coal Ash Materials for Their Potential to Leach Arsenic and Selenium: Relative Importance of Ash Chemistry and Site Biogeochemistry.Environmental Engineering Science 35, no. 7 (July 2018): 728–38. https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2017.0347. Full Text


Harkness, Jennifer S., Laura S. Ruhl, Romain Millot, Wolfram Kloppman, James C. Hower, Helen Hsu-Kim, and Avner Vengosh. “Lithium Isotope Fingerprints in Coal and Coal Combustion Residuals from the United States.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:134–37. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.032. Full Text

Tarhouni, J., MF Ben Hamouda, A. J. Kondash, L. Mejri, and A. Vengosh. “Modeling the Recharge and the Renewal Rate Based on 3H and 14C Isotopes in the Coastal Aquifer of El Haouaria, Northern Tunisia.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:199–202. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.047. Full Text

Miller, J., K. Swana, S. Talma, A. Vengosh, G. Tredoux, R. Murray, and M. Butler. “O, H, CDIC, Sr, B and 14C Isotope Fingerprinting of Deep Groundwaters in the Karoo Basin, South Africa as a Precursor to Shale Gas Exploration.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:211–14. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.050. Full Text

Eilers, A., J. Miller, K. Swana, R. Botha, S. Talma, R. Newman, R. Murray, and A. Vengosh. “Characterisation of Radon Concentrations in Karoo Groundwater, South Africa, as a Prelude to Potential Shale-gas Development.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:269–72. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.063. Full Text

Schwartz, Grace E., Heileen Hsu-Kim, and Avner Vengosh. “Trace element toxins in coal ash: New considerations for identifying environmental risks.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 248. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

Parker, Kimberly M., Teng Zeng, Avner Vengosh, and William A. Mitch. “Increased formation of brominated disinfection by-products in shale gas wastewater-impacted surface drinking water supplies.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 248. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

O’Connor, Megan P., Desiree L. Plata, Nathaniel R. Warner, Avner Vengosh, Marc A. Deshusses, Kathrin Schreglmann, and Martin Elsner. “Identifying needs for novel water treatment technologies for flowback water from natural gas extraction.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 247. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

Jackson, R. B., A. Vengosh, T. H. Darrah, N. R. Warner, and A. Down. “Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Environmental Health: An Overview.” In Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 54:S13–S13. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013.

Ruhl, Laura S., Avner Vengosh, Gary S. Dwyer, Heileen Hsu-Kim, and Grace E. Schwartz. “Impact of coal combustion residues on water quality.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 245. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2013.

Vengosh, Avner, Nathaniel Warner, Rob Jackson, and Tom Darrah. “The Effects of Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing on the Quality of Water Resources in the United States.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7:863–66. Elsevier BV, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2013.03.213. Full Text


Selected Grants

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

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

SusChEM: Geochmical Characterization and Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017

Collaborative Research: Characterization of Contaminants and Isotopic Tracers Associated with Coal Combustion Products awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

Southern Environmental Law Center NC-TN awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016