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

Vengosh, Avner, William A. Mitch, and Lisa M. McKenzie. “Environmental and Human Impacts of Unconventional Energy Development.Environmental Science & Technology 51, no. 18 (September 2017): 10271–73. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b04336. Full Text Open Access Copy

Harkness, J. S., T. H. Darrah, N. R. Warner, C. J. Whyte, M. T. Moore, R. Millot, W. Kloppmann, R. B. Jackson, and A. Vengosh. “The geochemistry of naturally occurring methane and saline groundwater in an area of unconventional shale gas development.” Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 208 (July 1, 2017): 302–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2017.03.039. Full Text

Luo, Yiwen, Lauren E. McCullough, Jung-Ying Tzeng, Thomas Darrah, Avner Vengosh, Rachel L. Maguire, Arnab Maity, et al. “Maternal blood cadmium, lead and arsenic levels, nutrient combinations, and offspring birthweight.Bmc Public Health 17, no. 1 (April 24, 2017): 354. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4225-8. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kondash, Andrew J., Elizabeth Albright, and Avner Vengosh. “Quantity of flowback and produced waters from unconventional oil and gas exploration.The Science of the Total Environment 574 (January 2017): 314–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.069. Full Text

Vengosh, A., R. Coyte, J. Karr, J. S. Harkness, A. J. Kondash, L. S. Ruhl, R. B. Merola, and G. S. Dywer. “Origin of Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water Wells from the Piedmont Aquifers of North Carolina.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 3, no. 12 (December 13, 2016): 409–14. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00342. Full Text Open Access Copy

Schwartz, Grace E., Lauren K. Redfern, Kaoru Ikuma, Claudia K. Gunsch, Laura S. Ruhl, Avner Vengosh, and Heileen Hsu-Kim. “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): 1427–39. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6em00458j. Full Text

Harkness, Jennifer S., Barry Sulkin, and Avner Vengosh. “Evidence for Coal Ash Ponds Leaking in the Southeastern United States.Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 12 (June 10, 2016): 6583–92. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b01727. Full Text

Lauer, N., and A. Vengosh. “Age Dating Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills Using Radium Isotopes and Their Decay Products in Impacted Soil and Sediment.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 3, no. 5 (May 10, 2016): 205–9. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00118. Full Text

Lauer, Nancy E., Jennifer S. Harkness, and Avner Vengosh. “Brine Spills Associated with Unconventional Oil Development in North Dakota.Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 10 (May 2016): 5389–97. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b06349. Full Text

Schwartz, G. E., N. Rivera, S. W. Lee, J. M. Harrington, J. C. Hower, K. E. Levine, A. Vengosh, and H. Hsu-Kim. “Leaching potential and redox transformations of arsenic and selenium in sediment microcosms with fly ash.” Applied Geochemistry 67 (April 1, 2016): 177–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2016.02.013. Full Text