The labUpstairs

What do we study?

Our group explores how protists interact with other microbes in low-oxygen environments – including aquatic sediments and the animal gut – at the single-cell level. Check out our ‘Our Research‘ page for more information.

Come join us! Are you a post-doc interested in building your own, related research idea? Get in touch! We’re happy to support external funding applications.


Latest publications 2021-2022

Evolving perspective on the origin and diversification of cellular life and the virosphere

Check out this advance access review by Anja Spang, Tara A Mahendrarajah, Pierre Offre, Courtney W Stairs in Genome Biology and Evolution. In here, we discuss the evolution of the different domains of life and viruses. Read more about research by Anja Spang and Tara Mahendrarajah and Pierre Offre at NIOZ.

Hydrogen metabolism: A eukaryote taps into the electron sink

Congrats to Karla Aguilera-Campos on her first paper in the group! In this Dispatch article for Current Biology, Karla and Courtney summarise the recent paper by Smutná et al. who showed a potentially hydrogen-oxidizing hydrogenase is present in the Trichomonas vaginalis. This is the first reported case of a potentially hydrogen-oxidizing eukaryote and one of few example of intracellular hydrogen cycling in a single-cell! Read Smutná et al. here and our dispatch here.

Anaeramoebae are a divergent lineage of eukaryotes that shed light on the transition from anaerobic mitochondria to hydrogenosomes

Figure thumbnail gr1

Courtney Stairs, Petr Táborský, Eric D. Salomaki, Martin Kolisko, Tomáš Pánek, Laura Eme, Miluše Hradilová, Čestmír Vlček, Jon Jerlström-Hultqvist, Andrew J. Roger and Ivan Čepička.

Read the paper, its open access! Or check out this blog post on the International Society of Evolutionary Protistology website.

Diversity of electron transport chains in anaerobic protists


Read the paper here, its open access! This was a fun review to write with Dr. Ryan Gawryluk at University of Victoria in Canada. Learn more about Ryan’s research here.

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