Christopher Roberts, called Chris by his friends, is a friend of Diana Bishop at Yale University. A talented molecular biologist, he runs a multidisciplinary lab in the chemistry department. He met Diana when she cold-called the chemistry department looking for help understanding a description of a chemical process given by one of her alchemical texts. After recreating the alchemical experiment, they became friends. He made a bet with Diana about which of them would obtain tenure first, which he won upon being awarded tenure nine months after the announcement of his MacArthur fellowship.
Although a brilliant researcher, Chris is revealed to depend heavily on having a competent lab manager to keep his lab running smoothly. He has difficulty remembering the names of students and postdocs, and after a bad semester in which he had numerous students with the same name, he gives everyone under his supervision nicknames such as 'Game Boy' and 'Hazmat'.
As a black man from Alabama, describing himself as having grown up in the shadow of Tuskegee, Chris is particularly sensitive to research ethics and the injustice of the covenant.
A Discovery of Witches[edit | edit source]
Diana calls Chris shortly after meeting Matthew Clairmont to discuss Matthew and his work. Chris is thrilled to hear that Diana has met someone, and not knowing that she is a witch, teases her that she put the elusive Prof. Clairmont under a spell with her eyes. He makes a bet with Diana that Clairmont will win a Nobel prize before he dies- again, not knowing that Matthew is a vampire and so would never allow the prize, since it would threaten his anonymity.
Shadow of Night[edit | edit source]
Chris does not appear in Shadow of Night, although it is later revealed that he was concerned about Diana, as she did not respond to any attempt to communicate during her sabbatical.
The Book of Life[edit | edit source]
Chris drives to the Bishop residence in Madison, intent on finding out what has become of his friend. Upon discovering that she is married to Matthew, pregnant, and trying to both locate the lost Book of Life as well as find a way for Matthew to complete his research on creature genetics, he offers his lab. He is also inducted into the Knights of Lazarus.
He accidentally hires Miriam Shephard as his new lab manager, which turns out to be an excellent arrangement, as she fits his stated qualification for a lab manager- "Mother Teresa or Mussolini". It is also revealed that he has several daemons and a vampire working in his lab. He institutes strong privacy and security measures to prevent word from getting out about what his lab is working on, going to the lengths of requiring all lab personnel to sign non-disclosure agreements and surrender all electronic devices while in the lab, allowing only a few trusted senior researchers to have full communications and internet access.