My laboratory is engaged in research on the systematics and evolution of vascular plants. Taxonomic groups of current interest are the Asteraceae and Euphorbiaceae. I am also interested in the evolution of desert flora, particularly population structure and the role of hybridization in speciation, and the biogeography and evolution of the flora of the West Indies specifically that of the islands of the Lesser Antilles. Methodologies employed for uncovering evolutionary relationships include the use DNA sequences of chloroplast and nuclear genes along with traditional techniques.
Stout, M. J., M. R. Riggio, L. Zou and R. Roberts. 2002. Flooding influences ovipositional and feeding behavior of the Rice Water Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Ecology and Behavior 95: 715–721.
Roberts, R. P. and L. E. Urbatsch. 2003. Molecular phylogeny of Ericameria (Asteraceae, Astereae) based on nuclear ribosomal 3´ ETS and ITS sequence data. Taxon 52: 209–228.
Urbatsch, L. E., R. P. Roberts and V. Karaman. 2003. Phylogenetic evaluation of Xylothamia, Gundlachia and related genera (Asteraceae, Astereae) based on ETS and ITS nrDNA sequence data. American Journal of Botany 90: 634–649.