PhD, Vanderbilt University
Postdoctoral, University of Maryland
Office: 2556 Thomas Hall, 919-515-4248
Website: Roberts Lab
Research Areas: Behavioral / Biomedical | Molecular / Cell / Development
My research goal is to understand genetic complexity and how it determines phenotype, in a natural, evolutionary context. The hundreds of cichlid species of Lake Malawi in Africa provide an excellent model system. In addition to the startling wealth of phenotypic diversity available for study, the genetic structure of the cichlid flock lends itself to a number of complementary strategies for genetic analysis. The cichlid species are closely related and capable of hybridization, and it appears that many phenotypes and their underlying genotypes are shared in various combinations across the flock. Lab-reared family studies can be combined with association mapping within and across natural populations to pinpoint the genetic basis of adaptive traits, while providing important evolutionary context.
Roberts RB, Hu Y, Albertson RC, Kocher TD (2011) Craniofacial divergence and ongoing adaptation via the hedgehog pathway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:13194-13199.
Ser J, Roberts RB, Kocher TD (2010) Multiple interacting loci control sex determination in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Evolution 64:486-501.
Roberts RB, Ser J, Kocher TD (2009) Sexual conflict resolved by invasion of a novel sex determiner in Lake Malawi cichlids. Science 326:998-1001.