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 biological diversity. 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 diversification. I combine bioinformatics, comparative genomics, phylogenetics, and developmental biology to investigate how genetic networks and pathways evolve to produce diverse phenotypes. For my doctoral work, I studied the genomics of floral diversification in the genus Achimenes (Gesneriaceae) and worked to develop this group into a new model system for understanding flower evolution. My postdoctoral research will focus on phylogenomics of the diatom order Thalassiosirales, a model diatom lineage that spans the marine-freshwater salinity gradient and exhibits substantial genome size variation.


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]