Top of page
Global Site Navigation

School of Medical and Health Sciences

Local Section Navigation
You are here: Main Content

Dr Claus Christophersen

Senior Lecturer

Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 5278
Mobile: 0409 119 169
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO31.lvl 4  

Claus is a Lecturer in Nutrition in the School of Medical & Health Sciences. He is also Post-Graduate Coordinator for Public Heath, Occupational Health & Safety and Allied Health (Paramedical, Occupational Therapies, Nutrition & Dietetics, Speech Pathology).  

Current Teaching

  • NUT1121 Human Nutrition
  • NUT1111 Food & Nutrients


Dr Christophersen has a MSc from the University of Copenhagen (2003) and a PhD from the University of Western Australia (2008). He undertook a Post-Doctoral appointment at the CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship (Adelaide) before becoming a research scientist in CSIRO Food & Nutrition. He returned to Perth in September 2015 to take up a lecturing/research position in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University.

Professional Associations

  • Australian Society for Microbiology

Research Areas and Interests

Dr Christophersen is a microbiologist specialising in the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. As team leader at CSIRO Dr Christophersen led the molecular gut microbiology capability, which he developed over recent years to close the gap and further the understanding of the complex interaction between the gut microbiome, diet and/or disease, and the host response. To accomplish this he utilizes in vitro and animal models and human intervention studies, and an integration of bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing, biochemical and physiological data using multivariate statistical analysis. Dr Christophersen has published in highly esteemed journals (e.g. GUT) in many areas of gut microbiome research, i.e. obesity, effects of high protein diet, ulcerative colitis (UC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Gut-Brain Axis (Autism), athletes and other healthy cohorts. Through these studies he has an in-depth knowledge of microbial changes and the resulting changes of the gut environment and microbial fermentation following diet changes, diet supplementation or disease.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2008.

Research Outputs

Journal Articles

  • Shafaei Darestani, A., Rees, J., Christophersen, C., Devine, A., Broadhurst, D., Boyce, M. (2021). Extraction and quantitative determination of bile acids in feces. Analytica Chimica Acta, 1150(March), Article 338224.
  • Mousavi-Derazmahalleh, M., Stott, A., Lines, R., Peverley, G., Nester, G., Simpson, T., Zawierta, M., De La Pierre, M., Bunce, M., Christophersen, C. (2021). eDNAFlow, an automated, reproducible and scalable workflow for analysis of environmental DNA sequences exploiting Nextflow and Singularity. Molecular Ecology Resources, epub ahead of print(Feb), 8p..

Journal Articles

  • Adams, L., Wang, Z., Liddle, C., Melton, P., Ariff, A., Chandraratna, H., Tan, J., Ching, H., Coulter, S., De Boer, B., Christophersen, C., O'Sullivan, T., Morrison, M., Jeffrey, G. (2020). Bile acids associate with specific gut microbiota, low‐level alcohol consumption and liver fibrosis in patients with non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease. Liver International, 40(6), 1356-1365.
  • Rees, J., Christophersen, C., Lewis, J., Lo, J., Sambell, R., Costello, L., Walker, C., Byrne, M., Boyce, M., Newton, R., Devine, A. (2020). The study protocol for a pseudo-randomised pre-post designed controlled intervention trial to study the effects of a 7-week cooking program on self-efficacy and biomarkers of health: The ECU lifestyle and biomarkers get connected study (ECULABJMOF) including the Jamie's Ministry of Food WA participant experience. BMC Public Health, 20(1), Article number 1037.
  • Durack, J., Christophersen, C. (2020). Human Respiratory and Gut Microbiomes—Do They Really Contribute to Respiratory Health?. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 8(3 September 2020), Article number 528.
  • Yan, T., Murphy, M., Genoni, A., Marlow, E., Dunican, I., Lo, J., Andrew, L., Devine, A., Christophersen, C. (2020). Does Fibre-fix provided to people with irritable bowel syndrome who are consuming a low FODMAP diet improve their gut health, gut microbiome, sleep and mental health? A double-blinded, randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open Gastroenterology, 7(1), article number e000448. bmjgast-2020-000448.
  • Deering, K., Devine, A., O'Sullivan, T., Lo, J., Boyce, M., Christophersen, C. (2020). Characterizing the composition of the pediatric gut microbiome: A systematic review. Nutrients, 12(1), Article number 16.
  • Grosse, C., Christophersen, C., Devine, A., Lawrance, I. (2020). The role of a plant-based diet in the pathogenesis, etiology and management of the inflammatory bowel diseases. Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 14(3), 137-145.
  • Genoni, A., Christophersen, C., Lo, J., Coghlan, M., Boyce, M., Bird, A., Lyons-Wall, P., Devine, A. (2020). Long‑term Paleolithic diet is associated with lower resistant starch intake, different gut microbiota composition and increased serum TMAO concentrations. European Journal of Nutrition, 59(5), 1845-1858.

Journal Articles

  • Wang, Y., Mortimer, E., Katundu, K., Kalanga, N., Leong, L., Gopalsamy, G., Christophersen, C., Richard, A., Shivasami, A., Abell, G., Young, G., Rogers, G. (2019). The capacity of the fecal microbiota from Malawian infants to ferment resistant starch. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10(June 2019), Article 01459.
  • Genoni, A., Lo, J., Lyons-Wall, P., Boyce, M., Christophersen, C., Bird, A., Devine, A. (2019). A Paleolithic diet lowers resistant starch intake but does not affect serum trimethylamine-N-oxide concentrations in healthy women. The British Journal of Nutrition: an international journal of nutritional science, 121(3), 322-329.
  • Belobrajdic, D., Jenkins, C., Christophersen, C., Bird, A. (2019). Cereal fructan extracts alter intestinal fermentation to reduce adiposity and increase mineral retention compared to oligofructose. European Journal of Nutrition, 58(7), 2811–2821.
  • Gopalsamy, G., Mortimer, E., Greenfield, P., Bird, A., Young, G., Christophersen, C. (2019). Resistant Starch Is Actively Fermented by Infant Faecal Microbiota and Increases Microbial Diversity. Nutrients, 11(6), Article number 1345.
  • Newton, R., Christophersen, C., Fairman, C., Hart, N., Taaffe, D., Broadhurst, D., Devine, A., Chee, R., Tang, C., Spry, N., Galvao, D. (2019). Does exercise impact gut microbiota composition in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer? A single-blinded, two-armed, randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 9(4), article no. e024872.
  • Le, TT., Shafaei Darestani, A., Genoni, A., Christophersen, C., Devine, A., Lo, J., Lyons-Wall, P., Boyce, M. (2019). Development and validation of a simple LC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous quantitative determination of trimethylamine-N-oxide and branched chain amino acids in human serum. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 411(5), 1019–1028.

Journal Articles

  • Nurdin, S., Le Leu, R., Young, G., Stangoulis, J., Christophersen, C., Abbott, C. (2017). Analysis of the Anti-Cancer Effects of Cincau Extract (Premna oblongifolia Merr) and Other Types of Non-Digestible Fibre using Faecal Fermentation Supernatants and Caco-2 Cells as a Model of the Human Colon. Nutrients, 9(4), article no.355.

Book Chapters

  • Lockett, T., Bird, A., Christophersen, C., Clarke, J., Conlon, M., Topping, D. (2016). Microbes, Metabolites and Health. Microbial Metabolomics: Applications in Clinical, Environmental, and Industrial Microbiology (13-48). Springer.

Journal Articles

  • Halmos, EP., Christophersen, C., Bird, A., Shepherd, SJ., Muir, JG., Gibson, PR. (2016). Consistent Prebiotic Effect on Gut Microbiota With Altered FODMAP Intake in Patients with Crohn’s Disease: A Randomised, Controlled Cross-Over Trial of Well-Defined Diets. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, 7(2016), Article e164.
  • Hu, Y., Le Leu, RK., Christophersen, C., Somashekar, R., Conlon, MA., Meng, XQ., Winter, JM., Woodman, RJ., McKinnon, R., Young, GP. (2016). Manipulation of the gut microbiota using resistant starch is associated with protection against colitis-associated colorectal cancer in rats. Carcinogenesis, 37(4), 366-375.

Journal Articles

  • Halmos, E., Christophersen, C., Bird, A., Shepherd, S., Gibson, P., Muir, J. (2015). Diets that differ in their FODMAP content alter the colonic luminal microenvironment. Gut, 64(1), 93-100.
  • Le Leu, R., Winter, J., Christophersen, C., Young , G., Humphreys, K., Hu, Y., Gratz, S., Miller, R., Topping , D., Bird, A., Conlon, M. (2015). Butyrylated starch intake can prevent red meat-induced O6-methyl-2-deoxyguanosine adducts in human rectal tissue:a randomised clinical trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 114(2), 220-230.
  • James, S., Christophersen, C., Bird, A., Conlon, M., Rosella, O., Gibson, P., Muir, J. (2015). Abnormal fibre usage in UC in remission. Gut, 64(4), 562-570.

Journal Articles

  • Wang, L., Conlon, M., Christophersen, C., Sorich, M., Angley, M. (2014). Gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolite biomarkers in children with autism spectrum disorders. Biomarkers in Medicine, 8(3), 331-344.

Journal Articles

  • West, N., Christophersen, C., Pyne, D., Cripps, A., Conlon, M., Topping, D., Kang, S., McSweeney, C., Fricker, P., Aguirre, D., Clarke, J. (2013). Butyrylated starch increases colonic butyrate concentration but has limited effects on immunity in healthy physically active individuals. Exercise Immunology Review, 19(2013), 102-119.
  • Wang, L., Christophersen, C., Sorich, M., Gerber, J., Angley, M., Conlon, M. (2013). Increased abundance of Sutterella spp. and Ruminococcus torques in feces of children with autism spectrum disorder. Molecular Autism, 4(1), Article no. 42.
  • Christophersen, C., Petersen, A., Licht, T., Conlon, M. (2013). Xylo-oligosaccharides and inulin affect genotoxicity and bacterial populations differently in a human colonic simulator challenged with soy protein. Nutrients, 5(9), 3740-3756.

Journal Articles

  • Conlon, M., Bird, A., Christophersen, C. (2012). Human gut microbiota and future prebiotics. Microbiology Australia, 33(3), 100-103.
  • Wang, L., Christophersen, C., Sorich, M., Gerber, J., Angley, M., Conlon, M. (2012). Elevated Fecal Short Chain Fatty Acid and Ammonia Concentrations in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 57(8), 2096-2102.
  • West, N., Pyne, D., Cripps, A., Christophersen, C., Conlon, M., Fricker, P. (2012). Gut balance, a synbiotic supplement, increases fecal Lactobacillus paracasei but has little effect on immunity in healthy physically active individuals. Gut Microbes, 3(3), 221-227.
  • Belobrajdic, D., King, R., Christophersen, C., Bird, A. (2012). Dietary resistant starch dose-dependently reduces adiposity in obesity-prone and obesity-resistant male rats. Nutrition and Metabolism, 9(2012), Article no. 93.

Journal Articles

  • Clarke , JM., Topping, DL., Christophersen, C., Bird, AR., Lange, K., Saunders, I., Cobiac, L. (2011). Butyrate esterified to starch is released in the human gastrointestinal tract. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94(5), 1276-1283.
  • Christophersen, C., Morrison, M., Conlon, M. (2011). Overestimation of the abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in human feces by quantitative PCR targeting the Desulfovibrio 16S rRNA gene. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(10), 3544-3546.
  • West, N., Pyne, DB., Cripps, AW., Hopkins, WG., Eskesen, D., Jairath, A., Christophersen, C., Conlon, MA., Fricker, PA. (2011). Lactobacillus fermentum (PCC) supplementation and gastrointestinal and respiratory-tract illness symptoms: A randomised control trial in athletes. Nutrition Journal, 10(1), Article number 30.
  • Wang, L., Christophersen, C., Sorich, MJ., Gerber, JP., Angley, MT., Conlon, MA. (2011). Low relative abundances of the mucolytic bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila and Bifidobacterium spp. in feces of children with autism. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(18), 6718-6721.
  • Abell, GC., Christophersen, C., McOrist, AL., Clarke, JM. (2011). Dietary resistant and butyrylated starches have different effects on the faecal bacterial flora of azoxymethane-treated rats. British Journal of Nutrition, 105(10), 1480-1485.

Journal Articles

  • Bird, AR., Conlon, MA., Christophersen, C., Topping, DL. (2010). Resistant starch, large bowel fermentation and a broader perspective of prebiotics and probiotics. Beneficial Microbes, 1(4), 423-431.

Journal Articles

  • Worthley, DL., Le Leu, RK., Whitehall, VL., Conlon, M., Christophersen, C., Belobrajdic, D., Mallitt, K., Hu, Y., Irahara, N., Ogino, S., Leggett, BA., Young, GP. (2009). A human, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial of prebiotic, probiotic and synbiotic supplementation: effects on luminal, inflammatory, epigenetic and epithelial biomarkers of colorectal cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(3), 578-586.

Research Projects

  • Abnormalities in the gut health of athletes is a contributing factor to illness incidence, WA Institute of Sport, Scholarships to Support Industry Engagement PhD Projects, 2019 ‑ 2025, $23,750.
  • Application of a plant based diet in active Ulcerative Colitis (UC), St John of God Health Care, Scholarships to support Industry Engagement PhD Projects, 2018 ‑ 2024, $40,000.
  • Influence of Enzyme Rich Malt Extract on gut health symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and endurance exercise performance, Ateria Health Australia Pty Ltd, Grant, 2020 ‑ 2023, $534,799.
  • An exploratory study to determine if exercise can impact the gut microbiota composition of men receiving androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Grant, 2018 ‑ 2023, $98,875.
  • Restoring Neonatal Gut Biodiversity and Mucosal Immunity After Postnatal Antibiotics Exposure (RESTORE trial), Department of Health WA, WA Child Research Fund, 2019 ‑ 2021, $186,222.
  • Gateway to allergy prevention: Promoting an immunomodulatory breastmilk profile with maternal prebiotic supplementation, Department of Health WA, WA Child Research Fund, 2019 ‑ 2021, $247,597.
  • Effects of butyrylated resistant starch on active ulcerative colitis - a randomised controlled trial: microbial, biological, immune, clinical outcomes, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Broad Medical Research Program at CCFA, 2018 ‑ 2019, $7,951.
  • IBS Intervention Study, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), CSIRO - Grant, 2018, $10,000.
  • Monash University collaboration, Edith Cowan University, School of Medical and Health Sciences Research Collaboration Travel Grant Scheme 2016, 2016 ‑ 2018, $9,975.
  • Fibre alternative for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferers on a low FODMAP diet, Edith Cowan University, ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme - 2017 Round 1, 2017 ‑ 2018, $10,000.
  • Effect of probiotic treatment in an experimental model of periodontitis, Australian Dental Research Foundation Inc., ADRF - Grant, 2018, $10,012.
  • Is the dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and subsequent inflammation caused by changes in the gut metabolome of pregnant mice with periodontitis?, Australian Dental Research Foundation Inc., ADRF - Grant, 2018, $9,360.
  • Clostridium difficile infection in Western Australian (WA) adults with cystic fibrosis – disease burden, molecular epidemiology, clinical impact and the potential correlation with the gut microbiome, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Research Advisory Committee Funding Grant 2017/18, 2017 ‑ 2018, $40,000.
  • Food and Nutrition Postgraduate Scholarship , Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), CSIRO - Scholarship, 2016 ‑ 2018, $18,382.
  • Regular fat versus reduced fat dairy consumption: a pilot study of effects on cardiometabolic and gut health in young children, Department of Health WA, WA Child Research Fund, 2016 ‑ 2018, $40,493.
  • Effects of butyrylated resistant starch on active ulcerative colitis - a randomised controlled trial: microbial, biological, immune and clinical outcomes, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Broad Medical Research Program at CCFA, 2016 ‑ 2017, $192,806.
  • Regular vs. reduced fat dairy: a pilot study of effects on cardiometabolic and gut health in children, Edith Cowan University, School of Medical and Health Sciences Research Grant Scheme 2016, 2016, $10,000.
  • Can periodontal disease change the gut environment and its microbiome?, Edith Cowan University, ECU Capability Enhancement Scheme - 2015 or earlier, 2016, $10,000.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Efficacy of a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet in ulcerative colitis: A randomised controlled trial
  • Master of Medical and Health Science by Research, Associations between sunlight exposure,skin ph and permeability in pregnancy: A pilot study
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Efficacy of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation and High Amylose Maize Starch on Low Anterior Resection Syndrome symptoms and Quality of Life: A randomised controlled trial
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Effect of Dietary Resistant Starch on Maternal Glycaemia and Gut Microbiome in Gestational Diabetes

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Does fibre-fix provided to people with irritable bowel syndrome who are consuming a low fodmap diet improve their gut health, gut microbiome, sleep and mental health?

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Does the composition and dietary intake of fruits, vegetables and other plant foods alter the human gut microbiome and how does this affect mental health performance in relation to the gut-brain axis?
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Abnormalities in the gut health of athletes is a contributing factor to illness incidence.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Impact of dairy lipid intake on gut microbiota, and its association with cardiovascular related metabolites in Australian children

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy: Diarrhoea in children; zinc therapy and homeostasis
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Health impacts and dietary composition of the paleolithic and Australian guide to healthy eating diets in Australia
Skip to top of page