Pete was a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley under the direction of Dr. George Roderick in the EvoLab. Pete studied microlepidoptera (small moths) on Polynesian Islands (particularly Hawaii, Marquesas, and Society Islands) and is particularly interested in the host plant relationships, biogeography, and evolutionary history of moths in the Pacific. His dissertation work was on the systematics, ecology, and conservation of the genus Cydia (Tortricidae) in the Hawaiian Islands. As part of the Moorea BioCode team since Fall 2008, Pete collected adult moths using ultraviolet lights and sampled larvae by inspecting the leaves, fruits, flowers, etc., and used DNA to match larvae with adults. He also liked "beating" trees and shrubs for other terrestrial arthropods.