Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Caltech 2014―present

My current role is the head bioinformatician for a diverse group of microbiologists, chemists and data scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). My day to day tasks include the processing of genomic and proteomic data, and generating analysis summaries and plots using statistical software and programing tools such as R and python. As part of this role I have been responsible for the production of automated pipelines for data analysis and have developed numerous tools and scripts for processing genomic data. I have implemented SQL databases to store the extensive genomic and proteomic data that we have generated and developed simple interfaces such that other members of the group can access this information without in-depth knowledge of SQL.

Graduate Student

University of Quensland 2010―2014

My PhD research focused on metagenomic analysis of microbial and viral communities from engineered ecosystems found in wastewater treatment plants. Throughout my PhD I was at the interface of microbial ecology, chemical engineering, and computational biology and have gained many skills ranging from microscopy, reactor operation and computer programming. I developed a number of bioinformatic pipelines and substantial computer software in perl, python and C++. My background in molecular biology allowed me to place the inferences of metagenomic data into a broader biological framework and work with other members of the lab that did not have computer skills.


University of Queensland

2014, PhD in Microbial Ecology

2010, Bachelor of Biotechnology

Honors & Awards

2015, Dean’s award for outstanding PhD dissertation, University of Queensland

2010, Australian Research Council PhD Fellowship


Skennerton, C. T., Chourey, K., Iyer, R., Hettich, R. L., Tyson, G. W., Orphan, V. J. (2017) “Methane-Fueled Syntrophy through Extracellular Electron Transfer: Uncovering the Genomic Traits Conserved within Diverse Bacterial Partners of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Archaea“. mBio 8(4):e00530-17

Skennerton, C. T., Haroon, M. F., Briegel, A., Shi, J., Jensen, G. J., Tyson, G. W., Orphan, V. J. (2016) “Phylogenomic analysis of Candidatus ‘Izimaplasma’ species: free-living representatives from a Tenericutes clade found in methane seeps“. ISMEJ. 10: 2679–2692

Marlow, J. J., Skennerton, C. T., Li, Z., Chourey, K., Hettich, R. L., Pan, C., Orphan, V. J. (2016). “Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities“. Frontiers Microbiol. 7: 563

Barr, J. J., Dutilh, B. E., Skennerton, C. T., Fukushima, T., Hastie, M. L., Gorman, J. J., Tyson, G. W., Bond, P. L. (2016). “Metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses of Accumulibacter phosphatis enriched floccular and granular biofilm”. Environ. Microbiol. 18(1): 273–287

Skennerton, C. T., Ward, L. M., Michel, A., Metcalfe, K., Valiente, C., Mullin, S., Chan, K. Y., Gradinaru, V., Orphan, V. J. (2015). “Genomic Reconstruction of an Uncultured Hydrothermal Vent Gammaproteobacterial Methanotroph (Family Methylothermaceae) Indicates Multiple Adaptations to Oxygen Limitation“. Frontiers Microbiol. 6

Parks, D. H., Imelfort, M., Skennerton, C. T., Hugenholtz, P., Tyson, G. W. (2015). “CheckM: assessing the quality of microbial genomes recovered from isolates, single cells, and metagenomes”. Genome Res. 25: 1043–1055.

Skennerton, C. T., Barr, J. J., Slater, F. R., Bond, P. L., Tyson, G. W. (2015). “Expanding our view of genomic diversity in Candidatus Accumulibacter clades”. Environ. Microbiol. 17 (5): 1574–1585.

Soo, R. M., Skennerton, C. T., Sekiguchi, Y., Imelfort, M., Paech, S. J., Dennis, P. G., Steen, J. A., Parks, D. H., Tyson, G. W., Hugenholtz, P. (2014). “An expanded genomic representation of the phylum cyanobacteria”. Genome Biol. Evol. 6 (5): 1031– 1045.

Haroon, M. F., Skennerton, C. T., Steen, J. A., Lachner, N., Hugenholtz, P., Tyson, G. W. (2013). “In-Solution Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization and Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting for Single Cell and Population Genome Recovery”. In: Microbial Metagenomics, Metatranscriptomics, and Metaproteomics. Ed. by Edward F. DeLong. Vol. 531. Academic Press, 3–19.

Skennerton, C. T., Imelfort, M., Tyson, G. W. (2013). “Crass: identification and reconstruction of CRISPR from unassembled metagenomic data”. Nucleic Acids Res. 41 (10): e105.

Skennerton, C. T., Angly, F. E., Breitbart, M., Bragg, L., He, S., McMahon, K. D., Hugenholtz, P., Tyson, G. W. (2011) “Phage encoded H-NS: a potential achilles heel in the bacterial defence system”. PLoS One, 6 (5): e20095.