Peter White is a plant ecologist with interests in communities, floristics, biogeography, species richness, beta diversity, conservation biology and disturbance and patch dynamics. In vegetation science he is interested in the composition and dynamics of plant communities, the relationship between vegetation and landscape, and role of disturbance, and the ecology of individual species in a dynamic setting. In conservation biology he is interested in the distribution and biology of rare species, the design and management of nature reserves and alien species invasions.
Peter White serves on the Boards of the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program, the Center for Plant Conservation and Discover Life in America.
Peter White directs the University’s North Carolina Botanical Garden, a garden which is helping to define the Conservation Garden. The Garden became one of the first gardens to enact policies aimed at diminishing the risk of release of exotic pest organisms in 1998 and was presented with a Program Excellence Award in 2004 by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. In 2009, the Garden opened the Education Center, a 29,000 sq ft facility designed to achieve a Platinum LEED rating.