Welcome to my personal webpage! 
 

1. Molecular Paleobiology: an emerging field of science

As a Molecular Paleobiologist I work towards advancing our understanding of the chemical mechanisms and environmental requirements involved in biomolecule fossilization, and I apply this knowledge to develop new proxies which allow reconstructing the physiology, relationships, and behaviors of long extinct organisms. I combine data for fossil and living taxa, and interpret this information in a macroevolutionary framework to learn more about how life on our planet came to be, reacted to past environmental change, and evolved into its modern-day diversity. Ultimately, my research aims at exploring to which extent we can truly integrate molecular data for extinct and modern life forms. 

 

I am particularly interested in applying molecular proxies to the topics of prebiotic chemistry, the evolution and nature of animal biomineralized tissues, the amniote metabolism, and archosaur reproduction. To do so, I rely on the power of large and diverse fossil and modern sample sets that are analyzed via non-destructive in situ methods for patterns in their molecular composition. My research is located at the interface of chemistry, biology and geology, and stretches across the entire tree of life.

OVERVIEW

Geology

Chemistry

Biology

2. The building blocks of life in deep time: biomolecule fossilization

Biomolecules generate all organismic form and function, and are thereby particularly informative for reconstructing the history of life. Biomolecules were long thought to decay rapidly postmortem. However, my research revealed that proteins, lipids, sugars, and certain pigments leave characteristic traces in the fossil record. Different classes of biomolecules undergo characteristic chemical alterations during diagenesis, and tend to transform into more stable compounds which can survive in the geological record for more than 500 million years.

2a. The mechanism of biomolecule fossilization

Click to enlarge!

This figure is part of Wiemann et al. 2020.

During early diagenesis (days to years postmortem), oxidative conditions trigger the formation of different Reactive Carbonyl Species (RCS) from lipids and sugars. Oxidative conditions are prevalent in, for example, fluvial, alluvial, and shallow marine sediments. Lipid- and sugar-RCS show distinct affinities for exposed amino acid residues of omnipresent proteins. Targeted are nucleophilic amino acid residues, such as arginine, lysine, histidine, and cystein, as well as the protein N-terminus. Observed fossilization reactions include primarily C-C bond forming reactions, such as transition metal-catalyzed electrophilic additions. The resulting crosslinking products fall either in the category of Advanced Lipoxidation End Products (ALEs), or Advanced Glycoxidation End Products (AGEs). ALEs and AGEs are composed of N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers – compounds that are water-insoluble, indigestible to microbes, and energetically stable. There does not seem to be an age limit for the preservation of N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers in the sedimentary record!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protein fossilization products tend to chelate available transition metals, such as iron, stabilizing the resulting chelation complex against temperature, pressure, and dissolution stress. While advanced crosslinking consumes peptide bonds, my research provided the first evidence for intact peptide bonds in fossil organic matter. Intact peptide bonds do not imply the presence of unaltered protein or peptide fragments, since attached amino acid residues may well be chemically transformed and can, therefore, not be sequenced.

Biomolecule fossilization

RESEARCH

 

2b. Assessing the degree of diagenetic alteration

I have developed a new proxy based on the ratio of peptide bonds (chemically trans - amides) to crosslinking products of amine-bearing amino acid residues (cis - amides) to assess the degree of protein alteration in a fossil sample. My data suggest that biomineralized tissues shield contained biomolecules better against diagenetic alteration than non-biomineralized tissues.

2c. The ChemoSpace: how to rule out contamination

To rule out exogenous sources of organic matter associated with fossils, I analyzed more than 100 fossils and associated sediments in a ChemoSpace. The composition of animal organic matter is significantly different from the composition of (primarily protist-derived) sediment fossil organic matter. Thioethers, S-heterocycles, and peptide bonds are significantly more abundant in animal fossil organic matter than in sedimentary organic matter. An endogenous source of fossil organic matter allows for the exploration of molecular biological signals preserved in deepest time.

Click to enlarge!

2d. Organic matter permineralization

Early diagenetic permineralization is often considered a key process in preserving fossil soft tissue morphologies and sealing carbon in deep time. I analyzed more than 300 fossils and sediments to understand the mechanisms involved in phosphatization, pyritization, silicification, and clay mineral precipitation to identify endogenous or exogenous sources of mineral building blocks, potentially present bioinorganic interactions evidencing templating of organic matter, and biological and environmental parameters determining the mode of diagenetic tissue mineralization.

More information is coming soon!

Pyritized fossil

image0680 copy.jpg

3. The biological significance of fossil organic matter

Proteins, lipids, and sugars in fresh tissue samples contain information on biomineralization, tissue composition and identity, metabolism, and organismal relationships – and so do their fossilization products. Listed below are the latest insights into the nature of these biosignatures, details on how they fossilize, and assessments of the biosignal quality through geological time.

Jump to the applications:

Archosaur eggshell biomineralization and homology

nature

3a. The biomineralization signal

The most prominent biological signal preserved in fossil organic matter identifies whether a fossil tissue was originally biomineralized or not.

In a biomineralized tissue, abundant coordinating or chelating amino acid residues on the surface of a structural protein interact with ions of the biomineral phase. Non-biomineralized tissues lack comparable quantities of coordinating and/or chelating amino acid residues. My research showed that originally biomineralized fossil tissues cluster separately from originally non-biomineralized fossil tissues, and revealed more abundant coordinating and/or chelating ligands as key feature of originally biomineralized tissues. This signal preserves even in temperature- and pressure-matured Cambrian fossils from the Burgess Shale.

This proxy has the potential to fundamentally advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of biomineralized tissues, as exemplified in our recent study on eggshell evolution in Nature.

RESEARCH

Archosaur eggshell biomineralization
Mongolian bone (5).jpg

3b. The tissue type signal

The tissue type signal groups tissues of the same type in a ChemoSpace. By using a training data set of fossil tissues with a known identity, fossil tissues of unknown type can efficiently and non-destructively be identified.

Different tissues contain characteristic relative amounts of proteins, lipids, and sugars. These compositional fingerprints preserve in the relative amounts of lipoxidation and glycoxidation end products: during early diagenesis, lipids generate characteristic Reactive Carbonyl Species (RCS) which differ from those formed by sugars. Depending on their relative abundance in a tissue, lipid- and sugar-derived RCS crosslink with omnipresent proteins, preserving the original abundance of proteins, lipids, and sugars in the resulting composition of N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers in a fossil. This is the second most prominent signal in an animal tissue ChemoSpace.

Being able to unambiguously identify tissues in fossils can provide informative characters that help resolving phylogenetic affinities, as shown in our recent study on the phylogenetic affinity of the enigmatic tully monster, published in Geobiology.

Jump to the applications:

Tully monster tissue composition is consistent with chordates

Tully monster biochemistry
recryst_blood_vessel.jpg

3c. The metabolic signal

Metabolic stress leaves molecular traces. Such metabolic markers preserve in deep time and can be quantified to reconstruct the metabolic rates of long extinct animals. Vascularized and cellular tissues, such as bone, preserve metabolic modifications in their originally proteinaceous phase. Once calibrated based on skeletal metabolic markers of living animals, the abundance of metabolic stress markers can be directly translated into a metabolic rate. This is the second-most prominent biological signal in a fossil bone ChemoSpace.

[More contents are coming soon!]

Understanding the metabolism of extinct animals allows to directly trace how organisms physiologically responded to past environmental change.

rhea membrana testacea (18) - Copy_edite

3d. The phylogenetic signal

The phylogenetic signal relies on the compositional differences of amino acid-specific crosslinks in N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers. Even though no sequence information can be obtained, the similarity in the relative amino acid composition of homologous tissues provides insights into animal relationships.

Proteins represent translation products of the genetic code. A codon composed of a nucleotide triplet encodes for one out of 21 (for eukaryotes, 22 for all organisms) proteinogenic amino acids. While the sequencing of fresh tissues yields information on organismal relationships, diagenetic alteration of (most) peptide bonds in fossil N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers prevents the sequential cleavage of units through any conventional method. However, some amino acid residues do not engage in crosslinking chemistry during fossilization and can preserve without alteration, while others crosslink in characteristic ways: amine- and thiol-bearing amino acid residues yield diagnostic fossilization products. When comparing N-, O-, S-heterocyclic polymers of the same tissue type and from similar depositional settings, a cluster analysis of the fossil composition reflects organismal relationships. This is the least prominent biological signal in fossil organic matter, and preserves best in biomineralized tissues.

The ability to complement morphological assessments of organismal relationships with molecular data has the potential to resolve controversial nodes in the tree of life.

[More contents are coming soon!]

Click to enlarge!

Jump to the applications:

Phylogenetic signals in fossil organic matter

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4. Applications: from molecules to macroevolution

Below, I provide links to relevant publications for each of my current key questions (this list is not exhaustive).

 

How did life on Earth come to be, and is there life on other planets?

I investigate chemical interactions between minerals and life's essential building blocks to understand how the replicator unit ancestral to all life on our planet evolved, and what this implies for the search for life in Space.

The theoretical context for this work is available here:

Wiemann et al. 2020. Panbiota. In Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Here is the       to the book chapter!

Wiemann et al. 2020. Biota. In Phylonyms: a companion to the PhyloCode. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Here is the       to the book chapter!

More coming soon!

 

What is the material nature of modern & fossil biomineralized tissues, and how did they evolve?

Characterizing the biocomposite nature of modern and fossil animal skeletons and assessing their homology has the potential to provide spectacular insights into how life reacted to past environmental and ecological challenges.

 

The first insights into the preservation of biomineralization signatures, the fossilization of mineral-organic systems, and eggshell homology assessments are available here:

 

Wiemann et al. 2018. Fossilization transforms vertebrate hard tissue proteins into N-heterocyclic polymers. Nature Communications.

Here is the       to the paper!

 

Wiemann et al. 2020. Phylogenetic and physiological signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules. Science Advances.

Here is the       to the paper!

Norell*, Wiemann*, et al. 2020. The first dinosaur egg was soft. Nature.

Here is the       to the paper!

 

More coming soon!

 

How did the amniote metabolism respond to past environmental perturbations?

I apply my recently developed metabolic rate proxy to trace how key extrinsic events in the evolutionary history of amniotes impacted their physiology, and how physiological responses relate to extinction.

An introduction to the proxy is available here:

Wiemann et al. Phylogenetic and physiological signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules. Science Advances.

Here is the       to the paper!

 

More coming soon!

 

The dinosaur-bird transition: can reproductive features explain why birds are the only dinosaurs to survive into the modern?

 

The survival of mass extinction events and subsequent diversification is, at least in vertebrates, directly tied to the reproductive strategy. Analyzing organic matter preserved in fossil eggshells, I investigate how avian reproductive features evolved from their dinosaur ancestors. So far, I discovered that birds inherited colored eggs, open nests, and brooding behaviors from their maniraptoran dinosaur ancestors, and that the theropod lineage of calcified eggs evolved independently, just like calcified eggs in ornithischian and sauropod dinosaurs, from an ancestrally soft-shelled dinosaur egg. I am broadly interested in understanding how reproductive traits may have contributed to the survival of birds into the modern, as the only extant lineage of dinosaurs.

 

My work on this topic is available here:

Wiemann et al. 2017. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs. PeerJ.

Here is the       to the paper!

Wiemann et al. 2018. Dinosaur egg color had a single evolutionary origin. Nature.

Here is the       to the paper!

Yang, Chen, Wiemann et al. 2018. Fossil eggshell cuticle elucidates dinosaur nesting ecology. PeerJ.

Here is the       to the paper!

Wiemann et al. 2019. Reply to: egg pigmentation probably has an archosaurian origin. Nature.

Here is the       to the paper!

Yang, Wiemann, et al. 2019. Reconstruction of oviraptorid clutches illuminates their unique nesting biology. Acta Paleontologia Electronica.

Here is the       to the paper!

Norell*, Wiemann* et al. 2020. The first dinosaur egg was soft. Nature.

Here is the       to the paper!

More coming soon!

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Coming soon:

RESEARCH

Microscope

5. Methodological advancement:

efficient & customizable proxies

A key challenge of geochemical approaches to the history of life is the destructive nature of most analytical routines, as well as the lack of exploratory analyses which do not require prior assumptions or knowledge of the sample composition. Fossils represent unique evidence of past life, and the trade-off between novel data and fossil specimen conservation often restricts geochemical studies to small sample sets.

 

I am dedicated to the exploration and optimization of non-destructive, exploratory chemical methods that allow the rapid and inexpensive molecular characterization of paleontological and geological samples.

 

My current efforts focus on in situ Raman microspectroscopy, a fully non-destructive approach that yields complete information on functional groups in organic matter, crystallinity and lattice properties in minerals, bioinorganic interactions in metal-organic systems, and hierarchical superstructures in more complex organic frameworks. Thereby, the total composition of heterogenous samples (such as fossils and sediments) can be comprehensively characterized. Spectral fingerprinting allows to perform compound presence/absence tests (compare: mass spectrometry), and individual bands or sets of bands can be mapped out over sample surfaces. The resulting spectral data can be analyzed by means of multivariate statistics (i.e., the ChemoSpace approach).

 

I am looking forward to expanding my methodological work in the future!

 

Curious? Try out my protocols!

 

In situ Raman microspectroscopy

Organic phase extraction: porphyrins

Liquid chromatography ESI Q-ToF mass spectrometry

 

Here is a link to the awesome spectroscopic software SpectraGryph which is freely available for students.

Click to enlarge!

Raman maps: click to enlarge!

RESEARCH

6. Curriculum vitae

Check out Dalton's abstract!
Here is the link.
Check out Mal's poster!
Here is the link.

2015 - 2020

Jasmina Wiemann

Date of birth: 02/22/1992

EDUCATION

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

Focused in Paleontology and Organic Geochemistry, expected April 2021.

Thesis topic: Biomolecule fossilization - Interactions between minerals and life’s building blocks in deep time.

Supervised by Prof. Derek Briggs.

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

Chapter 1: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07013-3

Chapter 2: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba6883

Chapter 3: Coming soon.

Chapter 4: Coming soon.

Chapter 5: Coming soon.

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

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

 

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

Focused in Paleobiology and Taphonomy, May 2018. Five Honors.

Supervised by Prof. Derek Briggs.

 

MSc Organismic, Evolutionary, and Paleo-Biology – University of 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, 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, Germany

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

12 certificates earned.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Teaching Experience & Employment

2020: Affiliate of the Yale Carbon Containment Laboratory to develop new approaches which permanently seal carbon in form of dead wood through surface passivation (inspired by permineralization processes).

2019: Teaching Assistant in G&G 125 “History of Life” (D.E.G. Briggs, & B.A.S. Bhullar) at Yale University. 42/5 (lecture/laboratories) participating students.

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 Time-of-Flight 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 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra, 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) 

 

Mineralogical and geochemical 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: MATLAB/Simulink (MathWorks), Paleontological Statistical Software PAST 3 (Freeware), Excel (Microsoft), MorphoJ (Freeware), ImageJ (Freeware), Prism (Graphpad), SpectraGryph 1.2 (Freeware).

  • Visualization: Illustrator (Adobe), Photoshop CS5 Professional (Adobe), Powerpoint (Microsoft), Publisher (Microsoft), CorelDraw (Corel).

 

FIELD EXPERIENCE

Fieldwork

2019: Cretaceous sediments of the Las Hoyas locality in Cuenca, Spain (14 days).

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 km2, 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, China.

2017: Jurassic sediments at Lourinha in Portugal. Trip associated with the DEB Conference.

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, Eiffel Maar lakes, Messel, Solnhofen, Dotternhausen, Nusplingen).

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

Field work, conference trips and other adventures

 

 

AWARDS & HONORS

2019: Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Student Award Honourable Mention for the best student talk at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Phoenix, AZ, USA.​

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

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. Inaugural Cohen Award recipient (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 fossil organic matter.                                                                                                                                                                                                             2369 USD

Results (in part) published as: Wiemann et al. 2020, Science Advances.

                                       Phylogenetic and physiological signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules.

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

information retained in Metazoan fossil biomolecules.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4650 USD

Results (in part) published as: Wiemann et al. 2020, Science Advances.

                                       Phylogenetic and physiological signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules.

   

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

research.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               400 USD

To present: Wiemann et al. 2018, Nature.

               Dinosaur egg colour had a single evolutionary origin.

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 USD

Data acquisition is finished, results are not yet published.

2012-2014: Honors Program Scholarship of the University of Bonn for outstanding undergraduate performance.                                                                                                                 8100 USD

Degree obtained: Bachelor of Science in Geosciences, German grade: 1,3 (GPA 3.8).

Research thesis: Paleobiology of tetrapyrrolic color pigments in eggshells and their fossilization potential.

Results published as: Wiemann et al. 2015 (PrePrint), 2017 (final paper), PeerJ

                            Dinosaur origin of egg color - oviraptors laid blue-green eggs.

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 USD

Exams passed & certificates earned: 12 certificates from the BSc. Chemistry/Chemical Biology program.

PUBLICATIONS

Published

 

1.   Wiemann, J.*, Crawford, J.M., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2020. Phylogenetic and physiological signals in              metazoan fossil biomolecules. Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.aba6883. Altmetric score: n/a .

      Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/28/eaba6883

 

2.   Norell, M. A.*, Wiemann, J.*, Fabbri, M.*, Yu, C., Marsicano, C., Pol, D., Moore-Nall, A., Varricchio,          D.  J., and Zelenitsky, D., 2020. The first dinosaur egg was soft. Nature. Altmetric score: 1439.

      Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2412-8

 

3.   McCoy, V. E.*, Wiemann, J.*, Lamsdell, J.C., Whalen, C.D., Lidgard, S., Mayer, P., Petermann, H., and        Briggs, D.E.G., 2020. Chemical signatures of soft tissues distinguish between vertebrates and                        invertebrates from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstätte of Illinois. Geobiology,

      10.1111/gbi.12397. Altmetric score: 179.

      Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gbi.12397

 

4.   Ibrahim, N., Maganuco, S., Dal Sasso, C., Fabbri, M., Auditore, M., Bindellini, G., Martill, D.M.,                  Wiemann, J., Zouhri, S., Matarelli, D., Unwin, D.M., Joger, U., Amane, A., Jakubczak, J., Bonadonna,            D., Lauder, G., and Pierce S., 2020. Tail-propelled aquatic locomotion in a theropod dinosaur.

      Nature10.1038/s41586-020-2190-3. Altmetric score: 3780.

      Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2190-3

 

5.   Wiemann, J., de Queiroz, K., Rowe, T. B., Planavsky, N. J., Anderson, R. P., Gogarten,, J. P., Turner, P. E.,        and Gauthier, J. A., 2020. 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,

     10.1201/9780429446276-3.

      Registration number: 298.

      Link to the PhyloCode:

      https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780429446276/chapters/10.1201/9780429446276-3

6.   Wiemann, J., de Queiroz, K., Rowe, T. B., Planavsky, N. J., Anderson, R. P., Gogarten,, J. P., Turner, P. E.,        and Gauthier, J. A., 2020. 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,

      10.1201/9780429446276-2.

      Registration number: 299.

      Link to the PhyloCode:  

      https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780429446276/chapters/10.1201/9780429446276-2

 

7.   Fabbri, M., Wiemann, J., Manucci, F., Briggs, D.E.G., 2019. Three-dimensional soft tissue preservation            revealed in the skin of a non-avian dinosaur. Palaeontology, 10.1111/pala.12470. Altmetric score: 53.

      Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pala.12470

 

8.   Yang, T.-R., Wiemann, J., Xu, L., Cheng, Y.-N., Wu, X.-C., and Sander, P. M., 2019. Reconstruction of            oviraptorid clutches illuminates their unique nesting biology. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica,       

     10.4202/app.00597.2018.

      Link: http://www.app.pan.pl/article/item/app004972018.html

 

9.   Wiemann, J.*, Yang, T.R., and Norell, M.A., 2019. Reply to: Egg pigmentation probably has an            

      archosaurian origin. Nature, 10.1038/s41586-019-1283-3. Altmetric score: 35.

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

 

10. 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

 

11. 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

 

12. 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/

 

13. 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

  1. Wiemann, J. 2020. Phylogenetic and physiological signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules. Virtual  Research Seminar hosted by the University of Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany. – Invited talk.

  2. Wiemann, J. 2020. The colors of dinosaur eggs and their paleobiological importance. Virtual Gallery Talk at the Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, CT, USA. – Invited talk.

  3. Wiemann, J. 2020. Fossil biomolecules reveal the evolution of archosaur reproduction. Speaker series at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. – Invited international speaker for the year 2020.

  4. Wiemann, J. 2020. Pushing the limits of the fossil record: fossil biomolecules reveal the evolutionary history of life. PaleoFest Public Science Event at the Burpee Museum in Rockford, IL, USA. – Invited talk.

  5. Wiemann, J. 2019. Fossil biomolecules illuminate the evolutionary history of animal life. Paleontological seminar at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. – Invited talk.

  6. Wiemann, J. 2019. Fossil organic matter illuminates the history of life. Organic Geochemistry and Geobiology seminar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. – Invited talk.

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

  8. Wiemann, J., and Briggs, D.E.G., 2019. 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: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”. – Invited talk.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 projects

  1. Wiemann, J. & Briggs, D. E. G. 2020. Exceptional preservation is not that exceptional: Neoproterozoic-to-Recent fossils share the same mechanism of biomolecule fossilization. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Session T 76 “Exceptional Fossilization”.

  2. Wiemann, J. 2020. Fossil biomolecules reveal the physiology and paleobiology of extinct amniotes. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Romer Prize Session.

  3. Wiemann, J. 2019. On the nature, ecology, and evolution of nonavian and avian egg color. Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Association, Session 2B, Valencia, Spain.

  4. Tschopp, E., Wiemann, J., Dela Pierre, F., Cavagna, S., & Norell, M. A. 2019. 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”.  – Invited talk.

  5. Meyer, D., & Wiemann, J. 2019. 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”. – Invited talk.

  6. Briggs, D. E. G., & Wiemann, J. 2019. 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.

  7. Norell, M. A., Wiemann, J., Fabbri, M., Yu, C., Marsicano, C., Pol, D., Varricchio, D. J., & Zelenitsky, D. 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”. – Invited talk.

  8. Wiemann, J., and Briggs, D.E.G. 2019. 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.

  9. *Theurer, M., and Wiemann, J. 2019. 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.

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

  11. Yang, T.-R., Wiemann, J., Xu, L., Cheng, Y.-N., Wu, X.-C., and Sander, P. M. 2019. Organic remains in eggshells elucidate dinosaur reproductive biology. Biannual Meeting on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Quinglongshan National Park, China.

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

  13. *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.

  14. 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”.

  15. 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”.

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

  17. 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”.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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”.

  22. 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: Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Brisbane (Australia), Podium Symposium “From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation”. – Organizer, Session Chair & 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, Invited Session Chair & Presenter.

2017: 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), Proceedings of the Royal Society B (IF 4.304), Scientific Reports (multiple, IF 4.525), Frontiers in Genetics (IF 3.789), Palaeontology (multiple, IF 3.730), BMC Evolutionary Biology (multiple, IF 3.027), Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology (multiple, IF 2.375), Lethaia (IF 1.454), Palaeontologia Electronica (1.410),  Journal of Experimental Zoology (IF 1.246).

Book chapter reviews: 1

 

SELECTED MEDIA COVERAGE & OUTREACH

2020 (upcoming - 07/10): National Geographic ‘Women of Impact’ Panelist (Paleobiology edition). The series

          aims to spotlight women in leadership roles, and this episode encourages young women to embark on

          Geo-/STEM careers.

2020: Panel Interviewer for the Yale Peabody ‘50 Women at Yale 150’ Event highlighting careers of women in

          STEM.

          Link: Not yet available.

 

2020: Cover story and featured scientist in the October 2020 National Geographic story “Reimagining                      dinosaurs” by Michael Greshko. Featured research (6 pages in print) includes Wiemann et al. 2018

          Nature, Wiemann et al. 2020 Science Advances, Norell, Wiemann et al. 2020 Nature, and Ibrahim

          et al. 2020 Nature.

          Link: Click here!

2020: Corresponding author (press release and follow-up interviews) for "Phylogenetic and physiological 

          signals in metazoan fossil biomolecules" in Science Advances.

          Special feature in: Science Magazine (2019), Astrobiology News, Yale News, etc.

          Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/28/eaba6883/tab-article-info

2020: Co-corresponding author (Yale & AMNH press release and follow-up interviews) for "The first dinosaur                egg was soft" in Nature.

          Special feature in: Nature (News & Views), New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, NPR, etc.

          Link: Click here!

2020:  Yale Peabody Museum virtual family activity focused on pigments and fossil color reconstruction.

2020: Scientific Guest Speaker in the Easter Special of the virtual, public lecture series “Dinosaurs 101”;                    episode theme: dinosaur eggs and reproduction.

 

2019: Featured symposium organizer (together with Derek Briggs; Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate            Palaeontology) in the Science News article “Warmblooded velociraptors: fossilized proteins unravel                  dinosaur mysteries” by Gretchen Vogel.

          Link: Click here!

 

2019: Volunteer for the Palaeo-knowledge Bowl for children between the ages 8-12 at the Yale Peabody                    Museum.

 

2019: Press Panelist for the opening of 2019-2020 Exhibition “T. rex: the ultimate predator” at the American              Museum of Natural History in New York.

 

2019: Featured scientist in the BioScience article “The Evolution of Natural History Collections: New research              tools move specimen data to center stage“. BioScience, 69 (3), 163–169.     

          DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy163.

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

 

2019: Volunteer for the Dinosaur Days “Meet the Scientist” Event at the Yale Peabody Museum (aimed at                    children between the ages 6-18).

 

2018: Volunteer for the Dinosaur Days “Meet the Scientist” Event at the Yale Peabody Museum (aimed at                    children between the ages 6-18).

 

2018: Corresponding author (press release and follow-up interviews) for “Fossilisation transforms vertebrate

          hard tissue proteins into N-heterocyclic polymers“ in Nature Communications.

          Special Feature in: Earth Magazine (2 pages), Science Daily, Yale News, etc.

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

 

2018: Corresponding author (press release and follow-up interviews) for “Dinosaur egg colour had a single                evolutionary origin“ in Nature.

          Special Feature in: Science News, New York Times, Washington Post, Yale News, NPR, etc.

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

 

2017: Corresponding author (press release and follow-up interviews) for “Dinosaur origin of egg colour:                      oviraptors laid blue-green eggs“ in PeerJ.

          Special Feature in: New York Times, National Geographic, New Scientist, The Guardian, etc.

          Link: Click here!

 

2016: Conceptualization of, and specimen selection for the 2016-2017 Exhibition “The Molecular Science                behind Jurassic World” at the Goldfuß Museum of Palaeontology, University of Bonn, Germany.

 

2015: Corresponding author (press release and follow-up interviews) for “The blue-green eggs of dinosaurs:                How fossil metabolites provide insights into the evolution of bird reproduction“ in PeerJ.

          Special Feature in: Spiegel Online, Sciences et Avenir, GMA News, Daily Mail, etc.

          https://www.altmetric.com/details/4000237/news

MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUT

for Evolutionary Biology

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YALE

PEABODY

MUSEUM

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nature

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On the nature, ecology & evolution of non-avian and avian dinosaur egg color

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Curious about our SVP symposium 
"From molecules to macroevolution"?
Here is the coverage in Science Magazine!
Molecular Paleobiology on the world-wide cover of National Geographic!
(c) Davide Bonadonna
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CURRICULUM VITAE  

Curious? Here is my virtual Gallery Talk at the Yale Peabody Museum:

Science article.JPG
 
Collaborations at Yale
In the past four years of my PhD research I got actively involved in a number of cross-disciplinary projects. I am always excited to apply my methods and expertise to project questions beyond my own research focus, learn about other fields, and meet inspiring scientists. Here is a list of where my journey has taken me so far:
  Yale Peabody Museum Invertebrate Paleontology            Yale Chemistry
  Yale Peabody Museum Invertebrate Zoology                  Yale Carbon Containment Laboratory
  Yale Peabody Museum Vertebrate Paleontology              Yale Anthropology
  Yale Peabody Museum Vertebrate Zoology                    Yale Earth and Planetary Sciences
  Yale Peabody Museum Paleobotany                             Yale Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
 

7. Contact

Jasmina Wiemann

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Yale University

P.O. Box 208109

New Haven, CT  06520-8109, USA

jasmina.wiemann@yale.edu

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