Andrew J. Roger

Wanda Danilchuk

Marlena Dlutek

Jon Jerlstrom Hultqvist

Dayana Salas

Segio Munoz

Gregory Seaton

Dandan Zhao

Shelby Williams

Jeremy Wideman

Former Roger Lab Members

Jeremy Wideman, Research Associate

In 2005 I graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from Augustana Faculty, University of Alberta. After a failed attempt at the rock’n’roll lifestyle, I went on to complete my Ph.D. in 2012. Under the supervision of Frank Nargang, I investigated the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial protein import using the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. My insatiable urge to understand cell evolution led me to join Joel Dacks’ lab (2012) which led to a European Molecular Biology Organization (2014) Fellowship in Tom Richards’ lab at the University of Exeter. During these fellowships I explored the evolution of cellular complexity using comparative genomics and single-cell genomic approaches. Following a College for Life Sciences Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2017), I joined the CGEB under the joint supervision of Andrew Roger and Ford Doolittle in April 2018.

Research Interests:

What does function mean in cell and molecular biology?

Philosophers of biology have argued that functions should only be attributed to traits that are adaptations (i.e. traits that have been positively selected for). However, it is likely the case that most funcitons have been either co-opted (exapted) from traits with pre-existing functions or from structures that arose by neutral evolutionary processes. Philosophers have also argued that cell and molecular biologists use function to mean ‘causal role’ and without any reference to evolutionary processes. While this is likely true in many cases, when cell and molecular biologists infer functions between distantly related organisms, something else is going on. This project investigates what that something else is and how it might relate to the concept of selected effects functions.

Understanding the evolution (and loss) of complexity in eukaryotic microbes and fungi

My overarching scientific research goal is to understand the emergence and retention of complexity over the course of eukaryotic evolution. To do this I trace gene gain and loss events onto the tree of life in order to explain the similarities and differences seen in diverse eukaryotes. So far, my work focuses on two major lines of research. The first, tracing gains and losses of mitochondrial traits across eukaryotes has aided our understanding of convergent simplification of these organelles. The second, using the fungal ‘kingdom’ as a model lineage I have shown that many cellular systems were more complex in their ancestor than in extant fungi, including model systems. My current research will integrate cell biological and evolutionary research by systematizing eukaryotic genome annotation to provide consistency in communication between disciplines and model systems.


    Gomes-Vieira AL*, Wideman JG*, Paes-Vieira L, Richards TA, Gomes SL, and Meyer-Fernandes JR (2018) The evolutionarily conserved PHO pathway in fungi: Ancestral features confirmed by characterization in Blastocladiella emersonii. Fungal Genetics and Biology. 115:20-32. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.04.004. co-first author.
    Mattie S, Riemer J, Wideman JG*, and McBride HM* (2018) Evolutionarily conserved, redox-regulated C-terminus of Mitofusin2 resides within the IMS. Journal of Cell Biology. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201611194.
    Leonard G, Labarre A, Milner DS, Monier A, Soanes D, Wideman JG, Maguire F, Stevens S, Sain D, Grau-Bove X, Sebe-Pedros A, Stajich JE, Paszkiewicz K, Brown MW, N Hall, Wickstead B, and Richards TA (2018) Comparative genomic analysis of the ‘psuedofungus’ Hyphochytrium catenoides. Open Biology. 7: 170184.
    Richards TA, Leonard G, and Wideman JG (2017) What defines the “Kingdom” Fungi? Microbiology Spectrum. 5(2): FUNK-0044-2017. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0044-2017.
    Muñoz-Gómez SA, Wideman JG, Roger AJ, and Slamovits CH (2017) The origin of mitochondrial cristae from α-proteobacteria. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34(4):943-956. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw298.
    O’Malley MA, Wideman JG, Ruiz-Trillo I (2016) Losing Complexity: The Role of Simplification in Macroevolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 31(8):608-21.
    Wideman, JG* and Munoz-Gomez, SA (2016) The evolution of ERMIONE in mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid homeostasis: An evolutionary view from comparative cell biology. Biochimica Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. 1861:900-12.
    Munoz-Gomez SA, Slamovits CH, Dacks JB, and Wideman JG* (2015) The evolution of MICOS: ancestral and derived functions and interactions. Communicative and Integrative Biology. 8: e1094593.
    Wideman JG* (2015) The ubiquitous and ancient ER membrane protein complex (EMC): tether or not? F1000Research. 4: 624.
    Munoz-Gomez S, Slamovits C, Dacks JB, Spencer KD**, Baier KA**, and Wideman JG* (2015) Ancient Homology of the Mitochondrial Contact Site and Cristae Organizing System Points to an Endosymbiotic Origin of Mitochondrial Cristae. Current Biology. 25: 1489–95
    Wideman JG* and Moore B** (2015) The evolutionary history of MAPL (mitochondria-associated protein ligase) and other eukaryotic BAM/GIDE domain proteins. PLoS One. 10(6): e0128795.
    Barlow LD, Dacks JB*, and Wideman JG* (2014) From all to (nearly) none: Tracing adaptin evolution in Fungi. Cellular Logistics. 4: e28114.
    Wideman JG, Leung K, Field MC, and Dacks JB (2014) Evolution and cell biology of the endocytic system. Cold Spring Harbour Perspectives in Biology. 6(4): a016998.
    Wideman JG, Lackey SW, Srayko MA, Norton KA**, and Nargang FE (2013) Analysis of mutations in Neurospora crassa ERMES components reveals specific functions related to β-barrel protein assembly and maintenance of mitochondrial morphology. PLoS One. 8(8): e71837.doi:10.1371/journal.pone. 0071837
    Wideman JG*, Gawryluk RMR, Gray MW, and Dacks JB (2013) The ancient and widespread nature of the ER-mitochondria encounter structure. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 30(9): 2044-9.
    Lackey SWL, Wideman JG, Kennedy EK, Go NE, and Nargang FE (2011) The Neurospora crassa TOB complex: Analysis of the topology and function of Tob38 and Tob37. PLoS One. 6(9): e25650.
    Wideman JG, Go NE, Klein A, Erin Redmond EK, Lackey SWL, Tao T, Kalbacher H, Rapaport D, Neupert W, and Nargang FE (2010) Roles of the Mdm10, Tom7, Mdm12 and Mmm1 proteins in the assembly of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins in Neurospora crassa. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 21: 1725-36
*corresponding author **undergraduate researcher

You can reach Jeremy at:
Work Phone: (+1) 902-494-2881
Fax: (+1) 902-494-1355
E-mail: Jeremy.Wideman{at}dal{dot}ca