DURHAM, N.C. – Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named a 2011 Fellow of the International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC).

IAGC fellowships are bestowed on outstanding scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of geochemistry.

Vengosh is widely cited for his work on environmental and aqueous geochemistry, isotope hydrology, water quality, the salinization of water resources, and naturally occurring contaminants and their effects of human and environmental health.

His innovative isotopic tracer studies have helped identify the sources of natural radioactivity in groundwater supplies in the Middle East and radon in groundwater in the U.S. Southeast, as well as strategies for reducing or eliminating these contaminants from local water supplies. He is the author of groundbreaking studies the environmental and human health effects of coal ash residue in downstream water supplies following the massive 2008 TVA coal sludge spill in eastern Tennessee, and has presented Congressional testimony on the issue. More recently, Vengosh has begun studying the effects of hydrofracking for natural gas and mountaintop blasting for coal on downstream water quality in the eastern U.S.