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

McMahon, Peter B., Avner Vengosh, Tracy A. Davis, Matthew K. Landon, Rebecca L. Tyne, Michael T. Wright, Justin T. Kulongoski, et al. “Occurrence and Sources of Radium in Groundwater Associated with Oil Fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, California.Environmental Science & Technology 53, no. 16 (August 7, 2019): 9398–9406. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b02395. Full Text

House, John S., Jonathan Hall, Sarah S. Park, Antonio Planchart, Eric Money, Rachel L. Maguire, Zhiqing Huang, et al. “Cadmium exposure and MEG3 methylation differences between Whites and African Americans in the NEST Cohort.Environ Epigenet 5, no. 3 (July 2019): dvz014. https://doi.org/10.1093/eep/dvz014. Full Text

Filippelli, G., R. Colwell, S. C. Anenberg, J. M. Balbus, D. Ceccarelli, K. Hudson-Edwards, A. Jutla, C. Miao, P. A. Sandifer, and A. Vengosh. “Thank You to Our 2018 Peer Reviewers.” Geohealth 3, no. 4 (April 1, 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


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

Warner, N. R., A. Nunnery, G. S. Dwyer, P. A. Baker, S. C. Fritz, and A. Vengosh. “Boron isotopic ratios from the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivian Altiplano as a paleoenvironmental indicator.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A1114–A1114, 2010.

Deonarine, A., H. Hsu-Kim, L. Ruhl, and A. Vengosh. “Riverine mercury contamination after the 2008 coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant, TN.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A223–A223. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Leslie, Deborah, Nathaniel Warner, Avner Vengosh, John Olesik, Kathleen Welch, and W Berry Lyons. “Boron isotopic geochemistry of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A582–A582. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Merola, R. B., and A. Vengosh. “Low-level arsenic contamination of groundwater with biomarker monitoring in Union County, NC.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A700–A700. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Ruhl, Laura S., Avner Vengosh, and Gary S. Dywer. “Isotopic and geochemical tracers for evaluating the environmental impact of the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill in Kingston, TN.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A889–A889. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Vinson, D. S., J. C. Mcintosh, and A. Vengosh. “Sr isotope constraints on natural oxy-anionic contaminants in a basin-fill aquifer (Arizona, USA).” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A1083–A1083. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Bartov, Gideon, Thomas M. Johnson, Laura Ruhl, Avner Vengosh, and George Southworth. “Mercury stable isotope tracing of multiple Mercury sources in the Tennessee River system.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A57–A57. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Dieck, Rita, Amer Marie, Avner Vengosh, and Jawad Hasan. “Ra-226/Rn-222 in groundwater of the Mountain Aquifer and Ein-Feshcha Spring: West Bank.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 73:A292–A292. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2009.

Farber, E., A. Vengosh, I. Gavrieli, A. Marie, T. D. Bullen, B. Mayer, R. Holtzman, M. Segal, and U. Shavit. “The relationships between groundwater discharge and the Lower Jordan River.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 69:A813–A813. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2005.


Selected Grants

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 Southern Environmental Law Center (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Legacy impacts of coal combustion residues on freshwater ecosystems in North Carolina awarded by Water Resources Research Institute (Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Radioactivity and Isotopic Markers of Oil and Gas Liquid and solid Wastes in New York and Pennsylvania awarded by Park Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Chemical Characterization of Oil and Gas Spill Water in North Dakota awarded by Natural Resources Defense Council (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Environmental and Health Risks of Oil and Gas Waste Water in New York and Pennsylvania awarded by Park Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Chateaubriand Fellowship for Jennifer Harkness awarded by Government of France (Principal Investigator). 2014

The Potential Risks of Freshwater Aquifer Contamination with Geosequestration awarded by Department of Energy (Co-Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2013