Employee Spotlight: Carter Thunes

Meet ORAU employee Carter Thunes. Carter is an ORAU contractor working under the National Student Services Contract (NSSC) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a Bioactivity Application Developer, Carter provides support to the Office of Research and Development Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure team, Scientific Computing & Data Curation Division, and Data Extraction and Quality Evaluation Branch located in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Carter works with ORD’s Computational Toxicology and Exposure team to support research efforts developing new computational tools and providing quantitative analysis for improving environmental risk assessments and regulatory decisions under the Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) research program. This work is crucial to promote the development of new approach methodologies (NAMs) and data interoperability to ultimately achieve reductions in animal testing. He supports software development, database curation and quality evaluation efforts for in vitro chemical screening data in the Toxicity Forecaster (ToxCast) program.

Carter’s work with ORD’s Scientific Computing & Data Curation Division includes software development, data management, analysis, and annotation support for the ToxCast program and working with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists at the EPA. He is working towards the release of ToxCast’s latest snapshot of invitrodb (database) and tcpl (R package). His favorite additions to the R package thus far are improving the bidirectional model fitting flexibility as well as expanding the plotting capabilities of tcpl.

When asked what his favorite part of working at EPA has been so far, Carter said, “I enjoy collaborating with highly educated people of many diverse fields every day.”


Carter is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He also minored in Statistics and Music Studies. His computer science and statistics background brought him to EPA, and he now works with bioactivity data by developing the ToxCast Pipeline R package (tcpl).

Fun Facts: Carter played the French horn for the last 6 years and played the flute for 6 years prior to playing the French horn. When he was in school, he routinely enrolled in wind ensemble and marching band, and since graduating he stayed sharp by playing French horn weekly at a local church. He is looking to join a community ensemble at some point in the future. When Carter isn’t playing musical instruments, you can find him relaxing on his couch on Sunday’s enjoying NFL Football.