Avner Vengosh


Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Research Professor of Global Health
  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • 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:


  • 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

  • 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 527: International Water Resources
  • EOS 791: Independent Study
  • GLHLTH 534: Water Quality Health

In the News

Representative Publications

  • 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 (2020) [10.1111/risa.13641] [abs].
  • Schlesinger, WH; Klein, EM; Vengosh, A, Global Biogeochemical Cycle of Fluorine, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol 34 no. 12 (2020) [10.1029/2020GB006722] [abs].
  • Kassotis, CD; Harkness, JS; Vo, PH; Vu, DC; Hoffman, K; Cinnamon, KM; Cornelius-Green, JN; Vengosh, A; Lin, C-H; Tillitt, DE; Kruse, RL; McElroy, JA; Nagel, SC, Endocrine disrupting activities and geochemistry of water resources associated with unconventional oil and gas activity., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 748 (2020) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142236] [abs].
  • Kondash, AJ; Redmon, JH; Lambertini, E; Feinstein, L; Weinthal, E; Cabrales, L; Vengosh, A, The impact of using low-saline oilfield produced water for irrigation on water and soil quality in California., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 733 (2020) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139392] [abs].
  • Guo, H; Chen, Y; Hu, H; Zhao, K; Li, H; Yan, S; Xiu, W; Coyte, RM; Vengosh, A, High Hexavalent Chromium Concentration in Groundwater from a Deep Aquifer in the Baiyangdian Basin of the North China Plain., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 54 no. 16 (2020), pp. 10068-10077 [10.1021/acs.est.0c02357] [abs].