Wade R. Roberts

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Alverson Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas. I completed my PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences with Eric Roalson at Washington State University in the School of Biological Sciences.


As a botanist and evolutionary biologist, I am fascinated by the enormous diversity of plant forms and flower morphology. Understanding diversification at the macro- and microevolutionary scales has long been a central goal of evolutionary biology. My research aims to understand the patterns and processes of diversfication. I combine bioinformatics, comparative genomics, phylogenetics, and developmental biology to investigate how underlying genetic networks and pathways have evolved to produce diverse phenotypes. I am particularly interested in the evolution of floral form in the genus Achimenes (Gesneriaceae), a colorful and diverse genus native to Mexico and Central America.


Roberts W.R., Roalson E.H. 2018. Phylogenomic analyses reveal extensive gene flow within the magic flowers (Achimenes). American Journal of Botany 105(4): 726-740. [doi] [cover image][pdf]

Roberts W.R., Roalson E.H. 2017. Comparative transcriptome analyses of flower development in four species of Achimenes (Gesneriaceae). BMC Genomics 18: 240. [doi] [pdf]

Roalson E.H., Roberts W.R. 2016. Distinct processes drive diversification in different clades of Gesneriaceae. Systematic Biology 65(4): 662-684. [doi] [cover image] [pdf]