In the News

water sample being collected

February 21, 2022 | Pratt School of Engineering

Dipping into Sri Lanka’s Rural Wells

Duke researchers implement a large water sampling campaign in rural Sri Lanka, aiming to discover the origins of a cluster of chronic kidney disease cases

Contaminated drinking well water might be the cause for a mysterious kidney disease has been affecting farmers in rural Sri Lanka for decades. (Photo by Dr. Nishad Jayasundara)

April 13, 2021 | Duke Graduate School

Ph.D. Student Investigating Potential Cause of Mysterious Kidney Disease

Jake Ulrich, a Ph.D. candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department on the Environmental Health Engineering track, has been working to identify potential contaminants in rural Sri Lanka well water that might be related to a mysterious kidney disease.

phone displaying reporting guide

March 25, 2021 | Duke Graduate School

Ph.D. Student, Graduate School Collaborate on Guide for Reporting Misconducts

The interactive guide, based on the work of Ph.D. candidate Kirsten Overdahl, helps graduate students better understand the options and processes for reporting harassment, discrimination, and other concerns

December 8, 2020 | Center for Biological Diversity

Plastic Pollution Activist Heads to Washington (Virtually)

Imari Walker Karega joined a panel of advocates and experts to discuss how petrochemical expansion is worsening both pollution and the climate crisis, and what meaningful actions could be taken immediately by the President-elect. The virtual event was sponsored by The Center for Biological Diversity and Break Free From Plastic.

Chemours Sign (photo credit: Vince Winkel)

November 18, 2020 | WHQR

CoastLine: Water Contamination By PFAS Still Plagues NC And The Cape Fear Region

PFAS, a class of manmade chemicals in the drinking water supply of the Cape Fear region, are unregulated, likely carcinogenic and otherwise toxic to humans

October 22, 2020 | Duke Nicholas School of the Environment

New Project Aims to Combat Toxic Power Dynamics and Enhance Equity in PhD Education

Developed with support from the Nicholas School Dean’s Office and the Duke-wide Re-imagining Doctoral Education (RiDE) initiative, a new project empowers and protects students by establishing standards for productive and respectful relationships between students and their faculty advisors, mentors [...]

car near storm drain

October 5, 2020 | San Francisco Estuary

Match Points in Stormwater Soup

Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) finds urban stormwater runoff is major source of some less-studied chemicals in San Franciso Bay waters

Imari Walker

September 2, 2020 | Duke Today

Imari Walker Is on a Mission to Protect Our Health From Microplastics

Imari Walker hosts a YouTube science education series, and she has a message: These microplastics are ubiquitous in our environment, and they have an impact on our health and bodies.

Imari in the lab

June 26, 2020 | Pratt School of Engineering

Water Bottles: Canceled

CEE PhD student Imari Walker Karega wants the public to understand why environmental engineering research is important to daily life

Japanese medaka fish

March 16, 2020 | Duke Today

Microplastic Fibers Linked to Respiratory, Reproductive Changes in Fish

Anna Lewis and Lee Ferguson collaborate with Nicholas School colleagues to show that exposure to microplastics causes cellular changes in fish and may disrupt endocrine systems


February 10, 2020 | Duke Today

What's in North Carolina Drinking Water?

Faculty report on potential contaminants in the state's drinking water—and how they are helping us get a handle on the problem

lecture about water

February 5, 2020 | Duke Research Blog

Contaminated Drinking Water in Our Backyard

Ferguson and his research team have tested more than 400 sites in North Carolina for PFAS compounds. Efforts were presented at a Duke SciComm Lunch-and-Learn.

flooded building in Robeson

November 25, 2018 | Environmental Factor, NIEHS News

Researchers respond quickly after Hurricane Florence

After Hurricane Florence devastated southeastern North Carolina, NIEHS grantees hit the ground running to test for contaminants.

Ferguson stands at a podium addressing the crowd

November 25, 2018 | Environmental Factor, NIEHS News

PFAS contamination spurs university research collaboration

North Carolina researchers gathered to discuss a group of chemicals called PFAS that contaminate some of the state’s drinking water.

October 29, 2018 | Port City Daily

Scientist says GenX legislation based on his work is good start, but limited by lobbyists

The scientist behind the general assembly’s attempts to deal with GenX and other polyfluorinated chemicals has called the legislation “visionary” and a model for future studies, but he also says it’s not what scientists or legislatures initially intended.

October 18, 2018 | StarNews Media

OPINION, Dr. Lee Ferguson: Legislature’s visionary effort to safeguard drinking water

Consortium of water-quality researchers from universities across state tackling emerging-contaminants threat.

Newsy video

September 20, 2018 | Newsy

Florence Risks Worse Pollution Than Previous Hurricanes

North Carolina, which is the second-largest producer of pork in the nation, has been drenched with rain from the storm, causing pollution concerns.

Lee Ferguson presenting his work

August 28, 2018 | Environmental Factor, NIEHS News

Environmental chemistry goes high-tech

Lee Ferguson develops sophisticated environmental chemistry methods to discover chemicals in drinking water and inside homes.

August 16, 2018 | StarNews Media

Is GenX in the water? NC research project aims to find out

The NC Policy Collaboratory will help utilities find out is there are man-made contaminants in their drinking water supplies.

Ferguson shows a schematic of data processing system for a new state-funded water-testing system

August 8, 2018 | Duke Today

Duke Expert Helps Spearhead State's New Water-Testing Program

Screening program hopes to avoid the next GenX contamination problem.