Avner Vengosh

Avner Vengosh

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Primary Appointment

Earth & Ocean Sciences Division

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.

In The News


Coyte, R. M., A. Singh, K. E. Furst, W. A. Mitch, and A. Vengosh. “Co-occurrence of geogenic and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater from Rajasthan, India.” Science of the Total Environment 688 (October 20, 2019): 1216–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.334.
Vengosh, Avner, Ellen A. Cowan, Rachel M. Coyte, Andrew J. Kondash, Zhen Wang, Jessica E. Brandt, and Gary S. Dwyer. “Evidence for unmonitored coal ash spills in Sutton Lake, North Carolina: Implications for contamination of lake ecosystems..” The Science of the Total Environment 686 (October 2019): 1090–1103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.188.
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, August 7, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b02395.
Tomlinson, Martha Scott, Paige Bommarito, Andrew George, Sarah Yelton, Peter Cable, Rachel Coyte, Jonathan Karr, Avner Vengosh, Kathleen M. Gray, and Rebecca C. Fry. “Assessment of inorganic contamination of private wells and demonstration of effective filter-based reduction: A pilot-study in Stokes County, North Carolina..” Environmental Research 177 (August 2, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108618.
Correction for Drollette et al., Elevated levels of diesel range organic compounds in groundwater near Marcellus gas operations are derived from surface activities..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, no. 18 (April 22, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905353116.

Recent Grants


GLHLTH 534: Water Quality Health (GLHLTH 534: Water Quality Health)
ENERGY 524: Water Quality Health (ENERGY 524: Water Quality Health)
EOS 524: Water Quality Health (EOS 524: Water Quality Health)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
EOS 394: Research Independent Study (EOS 394: Research Independent Study)

Research@Nicholas: Coal Ash & Fracking Impacts

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0230
308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC
Durham, NC 27708


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