Avner Vengosh

Vengosh

Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Environmental Quality

Avner Vengosh is a Duke University Distinguished Professor of Environmental Quality at the Nicholas School of the Environment.  Professor Vengosh and his team have studied the energy-water nexus, conducting pioneer research on the impact of hydraulic fracturing and coal ash disposal on the quantity and quality of water resources in the U.S. and China. He has also investigated the sources and mechanisms of water contamination in numerous countries across the globe, including salinity and radioactivity in the Middle East, uranium in India, fluoride in Eastern Africa, arsenic in Vietnam, and hexavalent chromium in North Carolina and China. As part of these studies, his team has developed novel geochemical and isotopic tracers that are used as fingerprints to delineate the sources of water contamination and evaluate potential risks for human health. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC). In 2019, 2020 and 2021 he was recognized as one of the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers. He serves as an Editor of GeoHealth and on the editorial board of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. He has published 165 scientific papers in leading international journals. His recent cross-disciplinary book “Water Quality Impacts of the Energy-Water Nexus” (Cambridge University Press, 2020) provides an integrated assessment of the different scientific and policy tools around the energy-water nexus. It focuses on how water use, and wastewater and waste solids produced from fossil fuel energy production affect water quality and quantity. Summarizing cutting edge research, the book describes the scientific methods for detecting contamination sources in the context of policy and regulations.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Environmental Quality
  • Professor of Environmental Quality
  • Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke Kunshan University
  • Research Professor of Global Health
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 681-8050
  • Email Address: vengosh@duke.edu
  • Websites:

Education

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

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Leadership award by the Water-Rock Interaction (WRI) Working Group, . International Association of Geochemistry. 2019
  • Paper “Large-scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India” was selected as one of the best papers for 2018 . Editors of Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 2019
  • Paper “The geochemistry of naturally occurring methane and saline groundwater in an area of unconventional shale gas development” was selected to be the winner of the 2018 Dalway Swaine Award. Society for Organic Petrology . 2018
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) Fellow. Geological Society of America. 2015

Courses Taught

  • ECS 220: Water Sciences: Principles and Challenges
  • ECS 524: Water Quality Health
  • ENERGY 524: Water Quality Health
  • ENVIRON 220: Water Sciences: Principles and Challenges
  • ENVIRON 524: Water Quality Health
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • EOS 220: Water Sciences: Principles and Challenges
  • EOS 393: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 394: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 524: Water Quality Health
  • EOS 791: Independent Study
  • GLHLTH 534: Water Quality Health

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Filippelli, G; Colwell, R; Anenberg, S; Balbus, J; Ceccarelli, D; Hudson-Edwards, K; Jutla, A; Miao, C; Sandifer, P; Vengosh, A, Thank You to Our 2021 Peer Reviewers, Geohealth, vol 6 no. 5 (2022) [10.1029/2022GH000639] [abs].
  • Zhou, M; Dai, S; Wang, Z; Spiro, BF; Vengosh, A; French, D; Graham, IT; Zhao, F; Zuo, J; Zhao, J, The Sr isotope signature of Wuchiapingian semi-anthracites from Chongqing, southwestern China: Indication for hydrothermal effects, Gondwana Research, vol 103 (2022), pp. 522-541 [10.1016/j.gr.2021.11.007] [abs].
  • Wang, Z; Wade, AM; Richter, DD; Stapleton, HM; Kaste, JM; Vengosh, A, Legacy of anthropogenic lead in urban soils: Co-occurrence with metal(loids) and fallout radionuclides, isotopic fingerprinting, and in vitro bioaccessibility., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 806 no. Pt 3 (2022) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151276] [abs].
  • Vengosh, A; Coyte, RM; Podgorski, J; Johnson, TM, A critical review on the occurrence and distribution of the uranium- and thorium-decay nuclides and their effect on the quality of groundwater., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 808 (2022) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151914] [abs].
  • Redmon, JH; Kondash, AJ; Womack, D; Lillys, T; Feinstein, L; Cabrales, L; Weinthal, E; Vengosh, A, Is Food Irrigated with Oilfield-Produced Water in the California Central Valley Safe to Eat? A Probabilistic Human Health Risk Assessment Evaluating Trace Metals Exposure., Risk Analysis : an Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis, vol 41 no. 8 (2021), pp. 1463-1477 [10.1111/risa.13641] [abs].