Avner Vengosh

Avner Vengosh

Professor of Environmental Quality

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 (Israel) 1986
  • B.S., Hebrew University (Israel) 1984

Wang, Z., R. M. Coyte, G. S. Dwyer, L. S. Ruhl, H. Hsu-Kim, J. C. Hower, and A. Vengosh. “Distinction of strontium isotope ratios between water-soluble and bulk coal fly ash from the United States.” International Journal of Coal Geology 222 (April 1, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2020.103464. Full Text

Filippelli, G., R. R. Colwell, S. Anenberg, J. Balbus, D. Ceccarelli, K. A. Hudson-Edwards, A. Jutla, C. Miao, P. A. Sandifer, and A. Vengosh. “Thank You to Our 2019 Peer Reviewers.” Geohealth 4, no. 3 (March 1, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GH000250. Full Text

Wang, Z., G. S. Dwyer, D. S. Coleman, and A. Vengosh. “Lead Isotopes as a New Tracer for Detecting Coal Fly Ash in the Environment.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 6, no. 12 (December 10, 2019): 714–19. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00512. Full Text

Kondash, A. J., D. Patino-Echeverri, and A. Vengosh. “Quantification of the water-use reduction associated with the transition from coal to natural gas in the US electricity sector.” Environmental Research Letters 14, no. 12 (December 4, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab4d71. Full Text

Coyte, Rachel M., Anjali Singh, Kirin E. Furst, William A. Mitch, and Avner Vengosh. “Co-occurrence of geogenic and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater from Rajasthan, India.The Science of the Total Environment 688 (October 2019): 1216–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.334. Full Text

Vengosh, Avner, Ellen A. Cowan, Rachel M. Coyte, Andrew J. Kondash, Zhen Wang, Jessica E. Brandt, and Gary S. Dwyer. “Evidence for unmonitored coal ash spills in Sutton Lake, North Carolina: Implications for contamination of lake ecosystems.The Science of the Total Environment 686 (October 2019): 1090–1103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.188. Full Text

Tomlinson, Martha Scott, Paige Bommarito, Andrew George, Sarah Yelton, Peter Cable, Rachel Coyte, Jonathan Karr, Avner Vengosh, Kathleen M. Gray, and Rebecca C. Fry. “Assessment of inorganic contamination of private wells and demonstration of effective filter-based reduction: A pilot-study in Stokes County, North Carolina.Environmental Research 177 (October 2019): 108618. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108618. Full Text

Furst, Kirin E., Rachel M. Coyte, Margaret Wood, Avner Vengosh, and William A. Mitch. “Disinfection Byproducts in Rajasthan, India: Are Trihalomethanes a Sufficient Indicator of Disinfection Byproduct Exposure in Low-Income Countries?Environmental Science & Technology 53, no. 20 (October 2019): 12007–17. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b03484. Full Text


Vengosh, Avner, Nathaniel R. Warner, Andrew Kondash, Jennifer S. Harkness, Nancy Lauer, Romain Millot, Wolfram Kloppman, and Thomas H. Darrah. “Isotopic Fingerprints for Delineating the Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:244–47. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.057. 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.


Selected Grants

Duke University Program in Environmental Health awarded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Mentor). 2013 to 2019

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

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

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

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

Trace Metals Contamination from Oil and Gas Wastes in New York and Pennsylvania awarded by Park Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017