Jasmina Wiemann

 

I am interested in how fossil biomolecules can tell hidden stories about life and its evolution. As a Molecular Paleobiologist I currently focus on understanding the chemical mechanisms and environmental requirements involved in biomolecular preservation, and its potential to reconstruct extinct animals' behaviors and relationships.

projects.

evolution of egg colors and reproductive strategies across archosaurs.

Biomolecules with a good preservation potential, such as tetrapyrrol pigments, allow to extract paleobiological information from fossil remains of long extinct animals. The egg color pigments biliverdin (blue) and protoporphyrin (red) provide insights into dinosaur nesting ecology, mating preferences, parental care, and other behaviors. Characterizing the evolution of  reproductive strategies across archosaurs might be the key to understanding why our modern birds are the only surviving clade of dinosaurs.

 

protein and soft tissue fossilization.

Proteins are key structural compounds in every organism. In a collaborative effort we discovered that they fossilize through chemical transformation into N-heterocyclic polymers. These Advanced glycoxidation & lipoxidation end products are insoluble, microbially indigestible, chemically stable compounds which can easily persist against increased temperature and pressure stress over hundreds of millions of years. Proteinaceous soft tissues can, therefore, survive morphologically through eons. We can exploit protein fossilization products to learn more about the phylogeny, physiology, and biomechanic setup of long extinct organisms.

Interested in this topic?

Check out our BlogPost in the Nature EcoEvo Community!

 
 

cv.

Jasmina Wiemann

EDUCATION

PhD Geology & Geophysics - Yale University                                                                       New Haven, CT, USA

Focused in Paleontology and Organic Geochemistry, expected 2021.

Thesis topic: Biomolecule fossilization

Supervised by Prof. Derek Briggs.

Minor research discourse: Dinosaur egg color had a single evolutionary origin (with Mark Norell, AMNH)

Committee: Profs. Mark Norell (AMNH), Jacques Gauthier, Jason Crawford (Yale Chemistry), Pincelli Hull.

 

MPhil Geology & Geophysics – Yale University                                                                    New Haven, CT, USA

Focused in Paleobiology and Taphonomy, January 2019. Five Honors.

Supervised by Prof. Derek Briggs.

 

MSc Organismic Biology, Evolutionary Biology, and Paleobiology – University of Bonn                     Bonn, Germany

Focused in Paleobiology and Molecular Biology, May 2016.

Thesis title: A molecular approach to the mechanisms of fossilization in bones, eggshells, and teeth

Supervised by Prof. P. Martin Sander.

 

BSc Geosciences – University of Bonn                                                                                         Bonn, Germany

Focused in Paleontology and Mineralogy, May 2014. 1,3 = GPA 3.8.

Thesis title: Paleobiology of tetrapyrrolic color pigments in eggshells and their fossilization potential

Supervised by Prof. P. Martin Sander.

 

Chemistry & Chemical Biology – Technical University of Dortmund                                            Dortmund, Germany

Non-degree Program for high school students through Excellence Student Scholarship: 2007 - 2011. 12 certificates earned.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Teaching Experience & Employment

2018: Teaching Assistant in G&G 274 “Fossil Fuels and World Energy” (M. Oristaglio) at Yale University.

105 participating students.

2018: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in G&G 125 “History of Life” (D.E.G. Briggs, P. Hull, & B.A.S. Bhullar) at Yale University. 65/12 (lecture/laboratories) participating students.

2016: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in G&G 125 “History of Life” (D.E.G. Briggs, P. Hull, & B.A.S. Bhullar) at Yale University. 70/12 (lecture/laboratories) participating students.

2012-2015: Part-time Research Assistant in the Crystallography & Crystal Chemistry Laboratory (H. Euler), Division of Geochemistry & Mineralogy at the University of Bonn (Germany).

2015: Teaching Assistant for the lecture series “Paleontology” (P.M. Sander) at the University of Bonn (Germany).

120 participating students.

2015: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in “Applied Mineralogy” (A. Bechtel, R. Hoffbauer) at the University of Bonn (Germany). 40 participating students.

2015: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in “Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry” (H. Euler) at the University of Bonn (Germany). 96 participating students.

2014: Lecturer for the introductory course “Chemistry for Geoscientists” (J. Wiemann) at the University of Bonn (Germany). 85 participating students.

2014: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in “Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry” (H. Euler) at the University of Bonn (Germany). 110 participating students.

2013: Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology Plön with D. Tautz & A. Schunke (Geometric Morphometrics & Quantitative methods).

2013: Teaching Assistant for lectures and laboratories in “Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry” (H. Euler) at the University of Bonn (Germany). 125 participating students.

 

Laboratory Experience & Workshops

2019: Workshop on “Geometric Morphometrics” organized by D. Polly in the Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University.

2014, 2015, 2016: International Paleohistology Course organized and sponsored by the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bonn (Germany).

2010:Advances in Drug Design” workshop offered and sponsored by the Bayer Crop Science Center in Monheim (Germany).

2010:Soil Analyses” workshop offered and sponsored by the Jülich Research Center in Jülich (Germany).

2009: Synthesis of Nanocoatings” workshop offered and sponsored by the BASF Coatings GmbH in Bergkamen (Germany).

2009:Drug Interactions and Bayer Applications” workshop offered and sponsored by the Bayer Crop Science Center in Monheim (Germany).

2008:Genetics and Health: New Methods in Biotechnology” workshop offered and sponsored by Bayer Leverkusen in Cologne (Germany).

2008: Workshop on “Nanotronics, Analytical Chemistry, and Applications of Technical Polymerization Products” offered and sponsored by the ChemPark Marl in Marl (Germany).

2007: Workshop on “Natural and Synthetic Dyes/Organic Food Colorants” offered and sponsored by the Ruhr University Bochum in Bochum (Germany).

2007: Workshop on “Research, Organization, and Company Structuring” offered and sponsored by Bayer Leverkusen in Cologne (Germany).

2007: Applications in Chemistry” workshop offered and sponsored by the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany).

 

SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

Organochemical & Biochemical Methods

                     (Confocal) Raman Microspectroscopy Point Analysis, Line Mapping, 2-D and 3-D Mapping. 

                     High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) & HPLC ESI ToF Mass Spectrometry (HPLC ESI ToF MS).

                     Gas Chromatography (GC) & GC Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC ToF MS).

                     Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI ToF MS). 

                     UV/Vis Spectrophotometry & Plate Reader Setups.

                     Interpretation of 1H and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra. 

                     Immunochemistry, including Enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assays (ELISA) & Western Blots.

Natural Product Extraction

                     Extraction and purification of DNA, proteins, lipids, and pigments.

                     Gel electrophoresis and Thin-layer chromatography (TLC).

Geochemical & Mineralogical Methods

                     Powder X-ray Diffraction, Rietveld Analyses, and diffractogram processing in EVA (XRD). 

                     Environmental and regular (sample-coated) Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of fresh and fossil tissues.

                     Electron Microprobe Analysis (EMPA). 

                     Energy- and Wavelength-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS/WDS) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF).

                     Petrographic and histological thin-sectioning, polarized and regular light microscopy.

Software, Computing & Data Visualization

                    Chemistry: LabSpec 5 Software (Horiba), Spekwin 32 (Freeware) & SpectraGryph 1.2 software

                    (Freeware),  EVA (Bruker), LAS 5 (Leica).

                     Phylogeny: Mesquite 3.4 (Freeware), TNT (Freeware).

                     Data Analyses: Paleontological Statistical Software PAST 3 (Freeware), Excel (Microsoft), MorphoJ

                     (Freeware), ImageJ (Freeware), Prism (Graphpad), SpectraGryph 1.2 (Freeware).

                    Visualization: Powerpoint (Microsoft), Publisher (Microsoft), CorelDraw (Corel), Photoshop CS5 Professional

                    (Adobe), Illustrator (Adobe).

FIELD EXPERIENCE

Fieldwork

2019: Cretaceous sediments of the Las Hoyas locality in Cuenca, Spain.

2018: Triassic sediments of the Petrified Forest, Arizona, USA (22 days).

2017: Triassic sediments of the Petrified Forest, Arizona, USA (14 days).

2015: Jurassic sediments of the Coastlines of Great Britain (15 days).

2015: Triassic sediments of the Augusta Mountains, Nevada, USA (13 days).

2015: Cretaceous sediments of the Two-Medicine Formation on Egg Mountain, MT, USA (10 days).

2012: Paleozoic to Cenozoic rocks of El Pont de Suerte, Catalan Pyrenees, Spain (20 days). Geological mapping and hydrogeological assessment over approximately 6 square km, 800 m altitudinal difference, marine-to-fluviatile sediment succession, intensively folded and faulted, with ophitic intrusions.

Field Trips

2019: Cretaceous in situ dinosaur nesting site in the Quinglongshan National Park Shiyan, Hubei Province in China.

2017: Jurassic sediments at Lourinha in Portugal. Trip associated with the Dinosaur Eggs and Babies Conference in Lisbon.

2015: Cretaceous fluviatile sediments of the Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada.

2015: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous fossiliferous sediments of Southern Germany.

2014: Lagerstätten of Central and Southern Germany (including Hunsrück slate, Maar lakes of the Eiffel region, Messel, Solnhofen, Dotternhausen, Nusplingen).

2013: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous rocks of Southern Germany.

 

AWARDS & HONORS

2019: Hammer Prize awarded by the Department of Geology and Geophysics as outstanding graduate geology student.

2019: George Gaylord Simpson Award of the Yale Peabody Museum for the study “Dinosaur egg colour had a single evolutionary origin” (2018, Nature) as best paper on evolution and the fossil record.

2015: Steven Cohen Award for Excellent Student Research awarded by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for the discovery of non-avian dinosaur egg color. Awarded for the first time in 2015; international competition; recognizes innovative research in the field of vertebrate paleontology conducted by an exemplary student.

2011: GDCh Student Award by the Society of German Chemists, as best student of the year in the field of chemistry.

 

FELLOWSHIPS & GRANTS

2019: Geological Society of America Graduate Student Research Grant to investigate paleobiological

information preserved in Metazoan protein fossilization products.                                                                2369 $                                                                             

2019: Yale Institute of Biospheric Sciences Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant to explore

paleobiological information retained in Metazoan fossil biomolecules.                                                         4650 $       

2018: Jackson School Travel Grant of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for excellent graduate student

research.                                                                                                                                            400 $

2016: Jurassic Foundation Student Research Grant supporting innovative and promising project proposals

involving dinosaur research. Project title: “Biomolecular preservation of dinosaur embryonic vascularity

allows quantification of reproductive success through time”.                                                                        2760 $

2012-2014: Honors Program Scholarship of the University of Bonn for outstanding undergraduate

performance.                                                                                                                                    8100 $

2007-2011: Excellence Student Scholarship of the Technical University of Dortmund for outstanding

performance in chemistry. Covered 4 years (8 semesters) of university tuition (600 Euro/semester).                   5700 $

 

PUBLICATIONS

Wiemann, J., de Queiroz, K., Rowe, T. B., Planavsky, N. J., Anderson, R. P., Gogarten,, J. P., Turner, P. E., and Gauthier, J. A., in press. Biota. In: de Queiroz, K., Cantino, P. D., and Gauthier, J. A., Editors. Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. Berkeley, University of California Press. Invited contribution.

Registration number: 298.

Link to the PhyloCode: https://www.ohio.edu/phylocode/

 

Wiemann, J., de Queiroz, K., Rowe, T. B., Planavsky, N. J., Anderson, R. P., Gogarten,, J. P., Turner, P. E., and Gauthier, J. A., in press. Pan-Biota. In: de Queiroz, K., Cantino, P. D., and Gauthier, J. A., Editors. Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. Berkeley, University of California Press. – Invited contribution.

Registration number: 299.

Link to the PhyloCode: https://www.ohio.edu/phylocode/

 

Yang, T.-R., Wiemann, J., Xu, L., Cheng, Y.-N., Wu, X.-C., and Sander, P. M., in press. Reconstruction of oviraptorid clutches illuminates their unique nesting biology. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 10.4202/app.00597.2018.

Link: to be added.

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Norell, M.A., 2019. Reply to: Egg pigmentation probably has an archosaurian origin. Nature10.1038/s41586-019-1283-3. Altmetric score: 35.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1283-3

Wiemann, J., Fabbri, M., Yang, T.R., Stein, K., Sander, P.M., Norell, M.A., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2018. Fossilization transforms vertebrate hard tissue proteins into N-heterocyclic polymers. Nature Communications, 10.1038/s41467-018-07013-3. Altmetric score: 200.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07013-3

 

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Norell, M.A., 2018.  Dinosaur egg color had a single evolutionary origin. Nature, 10.1038/s41586-018-0646-5. Altmetric score: 1624.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0646-5

 

Yang, T.R., Chen, Y.-H., Wiemann, J., Spiering, B., and Sander, P.M., 2018. Fossil eggshell cuticle elucidates dinosaur nesting ecology. PeerJ, 6, p.e5144. Altmetric score: 25.

Link: https://peerj.com/articles/5144/

 

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., Sander, P.N., Schneider, M., Engeser, M., Kath-Schorr, S., Müller, C.E. and Sander, P.M., 2017. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs. PeerJ, 5, p.e3706. Altmetric score: 461.

Link: https://peerj.com/articles/3706/

 

SELECTED ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Invited and keynote talks

Wiemann, J. 2019. A novel molecular toolkit reveals biological signals in Metazoan fossil soft tissues. Seminar at the Shandong Tianyu Paleontological Museum in China. – Invited talk.

Wiemann, J. 2019 (upcoming). Fossil soft tissues resolve the vertebrate tree of life and record metabolic rates. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium "From molecules to macroevolution". – Presenter & Symposium organizer.

Wiemann, J. 2019. Pushing the limits: how molecular preservation can change our understanding of ancient ecosystems. 4th International Meeting of Early Career Researchers in Paleontology. – Keynote talk.

Wiemann, J. 2019. Cutting edge molecular methods shed new light on the fossil record. Open house student representative of the Division of Paleontology in the Department of Geology & Geophysics at Yale University. – Invited talk.

Wiemann, J. 2018. How fossil biomolecules unveil the hidden stories of dinosaur biology. Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Association, Session “Frontiers in Dinosaur Paleobiology”. – Keynote talk.

Wiemann, J., Fabbri, M., Yang, T.R., Stein, K., Vinther, J., Sander, P.M., Norell, M.A., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2016. From white to black: Maillard reaction products and endogenous porphyrins stain fossil hard tissues. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium on “Molecular Paleontology”. – Invited talk.

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Sander P.M., 2016. Opening a window in time: how dinosaur eggshell chemofossils store paleobiological information. Society of Experimental Biology, Symposium “Integrative Biology of the Egg”. – Invited talk.

 

Regular conference talks,*posters, and mentored students

 

Tschopp, E., Wiemann, J., Dela Pierre, F., Cavagna, S., & Norell, M. A. 2019 (upcoming). Howe Quarry (Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, western USA), a hot spot for sauropod soft tissue. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”.

Meyer, D., & Wiemann, J. 2019 (upcoming). A phylogenetic signal retained in fossil soft tissues places (stem) turtles in the reptile tree of life. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”.

Briggs, D. E. G., & Wiemann, J. 2019 (upcoming). Trends in soft tissue preservation and its role in revealing the history of life. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”. – Invited talk.

Norell, M. A., Wiemann, J., Fabbri, M., Yu, C., Marsicano, C., Pol, D., Varricchio, D. J., & Zelenitsky, D. 2019 (upcoming). The first dinosaur egg was soft. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Special Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”

Wiemann, J., and Briggs, D.E.G. 2019 (upcoming). Metazoan biomolecule fossilization products record phylogeny, physiology, and biomineralization. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Technical Session “New Voices in Geobiology”, Phoenix, USA.

*Theurer, M., and Wiemann, J. 2019 (upcoming). Determining the distinction between organic compounds found in fossil plants versus fossil animals via Raman spectroscopy. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Phoenix, USA.

 

Wiemann, J., Mongiardino Koch, N., Hanson, M., Fabbri, M., Gauthier, J. A., Briggs, D. E. G., and Norell, M. A. 2019 (upcoming). The nature, evolution, and ecology of nonavian and avian egg color. Biannual Meeting on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Quinglongshan National Park, China.

Fabbri, M., Bhullar, B. A. S., Wiemann, J., Xu, X., and Norell, M. A. 2019 (upcoming). The dinosaurian origin for the avian single oviduct. Biannual Meeting on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Quinglongshan National Park, China.

*Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Norell, M.A., 2018. Dinosaur eggs came in various colors and patterns. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Tschopp, E., Mehling, C., Wiemann, J., Moretti, J., Fitzgerald, B., and Norell, M.A., 2018. The Howe Quarry project: after 80 years of neglect, a historic collection still provides invaluable scientific data and a great opportunity for scientific outreach. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Session “Paleontology and Outreach”.

Wiemann, J., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2018. Protein fossilization in vertebrate hard tissues. 5th International Paleontological Congress, Session S06 “Biominerals through time: evolution, taphonomy, and traces in the geological record”.

Wiemann, J., 2018. Protein fossilization in vertebrate hard tissues. Northeastern Geobiology Meeting in Woodshole (MA, USA).

Wiemann, J., and Briggs, D.E.G, 2017. Tracking down cell, nerves, and vascularity fossilized in vertebrate hard tissues: a field guide. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Session on “Soft Tissue Preservation”.

Fabbri, M., Yang, T.R., Wiemann, J., and Norell, M.A., 2017. The avian single oviduct had a dinosaurian origin. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies Biannual Meeting.

Wiemann, J., Fabbri, M., Yang, T.R., Norell, M.A., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2017. The biomolecular paleontology of dinosaur eggshells: a synthetic, chemoecological perspective. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies Biannual Meeting.

Wiemann, J., 2017. Soft tissue preservation in fossil vertebrate hard tissues.  Symposium on “Women in Geology & Geophysics at Yale”, Yale University.

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Sander P.M., 2015. The colorful eggs of dinosaurs: how fossil metabolites reveal nesting behavior. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Session on “Theropod dinosaurs”.

Wiemann, J., Yang, T.R., and Sander P.M., 2015. Catching the pigments of life: preservation potential and paleobiological implications of tetrapyrrolic color pigments in dinosaur eggshell. International Symposium on Paleohistology, Session on “Soft Tissue Preservation”.

 

HOSTED OR CHAIRED CONFERENCES & RESEARCH SYMPOSIA

 

2019 (upcoming): Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Brisbane (Australia), Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution”. – Organizer & Presenter.

2019: Biannual Meeting on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Quinglongshan National Park (China), hosted by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. – Invited Member of the Scientific Committee & Presenter.

2018: Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Salt Lake City (USA), Technical Session “Vertebrate soft tissue preservation and taphonomy”. 16 oral presentations/1300 attendees – Invited Session Chair & Presenter.

2016: Annual Meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology, Brighton (UK), Symposium “Integrative Biology of the Egg”, Session on “Egg & eggshell evolution”, 4 oral presentations/45 attendees – Invited Session Chair & Presenter.

2015: International Symposium on Paleohistology, Bonn (Germany), hosted by the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bonn. 200 participants, four days of successive sessions, afterhours events, and workshops – Member of the Host Committee, Organizing Committee & Presenter.

 

PEER REVIEW ACTIVITY (2015 – now)

 

Nature (multiple; IF 41.577), Frontiers in Genetics (IF 3.789), Paleontology (multiple; IF 3.730), BMC Evolutionary Biology (multiple; IF 3.027), Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology (multiple; IF 2.375), Lethaia (IF 1.454), Journal of Experimental Zoology (IF 1.246).

 

SELECTED MEDIA COVERAGE & OUTREACH

 

Exhibitions

2019, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA: Press Panel for the opening of “T. rex: the ultimate predator”.

2016, Goldfuß Museum, University of Bonn, Germany: Conceptualization of “The Molecular Science behind Jurassic World”.

 

Interview on the importance of collections

2019: The Evolution of Natural History Collections: New research tools move specimen data to center stage. BioScience, 69 (3), 163–169. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy163.

Link: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/69/3/163/5304486

 

Selected Outreach

Yale Peabody Museum Paleo-knowledge Bowl for children between the ages 8-12 (2019)

Yale Dinosaur Days “Meet the Scientist” (2019, 2018).

 

Selected Interviews for Scientific Magazines & Popular Science News Outlets

National Geographic, Science News, New York Times, Washington Post, Earth Magazine, The Scientist, Nature Eco&Evo, Science Today, The Guardian, NPR, and various others.

 

proudly supported by

Steven Cohen Award 

Yale University

YALE

PEABODY

MUSEUM

Yale Institute

for

Biospheric Studies

THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA

 

 

contact.

Jasmina Wiemann

Department of Geology and Geophysics

Yale University

P.O. Box 208109

New Haven, CT  06520-8109, USA

jasmina.wiemann@yale.edu

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