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Charles “Pete” Peterson

Joint Distinguished Professor, IMS (Emeritus)
Phone: (252) 726-6841, ext. 130
Fax: (252) 726-2426
Office: 158 Coker Hall 3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557


Dr. Peterson is not currently accepting new graduate students.

Professional Background

Dr. Peterson is an expert on the organization of soft-sediment benthic communities in estuaries and lagoons. He is especially interested in predation and intra- and inter-specific competition, the influence of hydrodynamics on ecological processes, and the role of resource limitation in suspension-feeding bivalve populations. Though best known for his experimental approach to testing hypotheses concerning benthic systems, he also conducts research in paleoecology, invertebrate fisheries management, estuarine habitat evaluation, and barrier island ecology. Recent projects include studies of:

  • the dynamics of the Sargassum ecosystem in the Gulf Stream off North Carolina
  • organizational processes in the Northern Gulf of Alaska ecosystem
  • causes of community patterns in space and time at deep-sea hydrothermal vents
  • the ecosystem functions of oyster reef habitat, particularly in North Carolina’s estuarine and coastal waters
  • methods for expanding the scientific basis for ecosystem management in the coastal zone

These projects are funded by grants from the Pew Charitable Trust, NSF, NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CIFO, and the NC Division of Marine Fisheries. Dr. Peterson holds joint appointments in the Department of Biology and the Curriculum in Ecology.

CV of Charles Peterson