Pedro was born on December 24, 1954, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He grew up in the San Juan metro area but spent many of his summers in the central mountainous region of Puerto Rico. Through these long vacations, he developed an interest in wildlife and outdoors activities. This interest was further developed while in college in the less-developed city of Mayagüez (western side of Puerto Rico).
After receiving a BS degree in biology in 1977, he moved back to San Juan and worked for some of the government agencies in charge of managing natural resources. During this period he developed a strong expertise in the Puerto Rican flora and wrote an illustrated field guide to the vines of Puerto Rico. In the fall of 1984, he moved to New York to pursue graduate studies in plant systematics at City University of New York in collaboration with the New York Botanical Garden. During the Botanical Garden years, he became an expert in the taxonomy of the dicot family Sapindaceae and further developed his interest in Caribbean flora and vine taxonomy.
In the spring of 1989, Pedro received a PhD degree and soon after started a new appointment as associate curator at the Smithsonian’s Department of Botany. During his tenure at the Smithsonian he published numerous papers on Sapindaceae taxonomy and Caribbean botany, including the book, Flora of St. John, US Virgin Islands. Current projects include a revision of the tribe Melicocceae (Sapindaceae) and a full-fledged field guide to the vines and climbing plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He has done extensive fieldwork in the lowlands of South America and the Greater Antilles.
Pedro belongs to the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the International Association of Plant Taxonomy, the Latin-American Botanical Society, the Organization for Flora Neotropica, and the Sociedad Botanica del Ecuador. He is associate editor for the Caribbean Journal of Sciences.
Pedro was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1991. He terminated his membership in 2005.