• Community Sense of Place Community Sense of Place Tourism Impacts and Second Home Development: A Sustainable Approach
  • Climate, Weather, and Tourism Climate, Weather, and Tourism Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for tourists at their respective locations.
  • Engagement and Community Engagement and Community In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development.
  • Rural Tourism Rural Tourism Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues.
  • RESET RESET Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism
  • US Travel Care Code US Travel Care Code The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • RETI RETI The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
  • Tourism and Entrepreneurship Tourism and Entrepreneurship Developing the local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy.

Affiliate Faculty

Affiliate Faculty share an interest and enthusiasm for the Center's mission, conduct tourism research activities in conjunction with the Center, serve as thesis advisors and members, and mentor students working on sustainable tourism related research.


Return to All Affiliate Faculty

Invasive Species in Sustainable Tourism

Ashley N. Egan

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
North Carolina Center for Biodiversity
Howell Science Complex N303a
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Office: (252) 328-4244
Fax: (252) 328-4167

Community Outreach Interests

I am interested in the development and planning of ecotourism and environmental voluntourism in the context of biological and botanical issues, such as invasive and endangered species management, agroforestry or agricultural economic development, or nature center management and programs. I would especially like to develop a self-sustaining eco/voluntourism initiative in conjunction with the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, to help eradicate kudzu (Pueraria lobata), a highly invasive legume species that plagues the southeast U.S.

Research Interests

Although poised to study most any plant group, I am especially interested in the legume family (Leguminosae, Fabaceae) with an emphasis on the Psoraleeae and Phaseoleae tribes, including many economically vital plants such as soybean and common bean. Leguminosae is one of the most diverse plant families on earth and offers an excellent system in which to study evolutionary forces and interactions, as well as the economic aspects of legumes. My passion centers on understanding the planet’s biodiversity and the evolutionary patterns and processes that have shaped it. I am interested in the broad disciplines of evolutionary biology, molecular evolution, bioinformatics, computational biology, population genetics, phylogenetics, comparative genomics, and plant systematics. These disciplines allow me the opportunity to explore the interplay between and within living and non-living systems and how external and internal forces shape extant biodiversity.  Describing and understanding the earth’s natural assets is pivotal to other scientific work. As a systematist, I strive to contribute to the taxonomy, nomenclature, and classification of plant biodiversity. As a phylogeneticist, population geneticist, and comparative genomicist, I strive to contribute to the understanding of the processes and patterns that have created biodiversity during the course of evolutionary change.

Notable Publications

  • Egan, A.N. and J.J. Doyle.  2010.  “A Comparison of Global, Gene-Specific, and Relaxed Clock Methods in a Comparative Genomics Framework: Dating the Polyploid History of Soybean (Glycine max).”  Systematic Biology 59(5): 534-547.

  • Doyle, J.J., and A.N. Egan.  2010.  “Dating the Origins of Polyploidy Events.”  New Phytologist. 186(1:Sp. Iss SI)73-85.  

  • Egan, A.N. and K.A. Crandall. 2008.  “Divergence and diversification in North American Psoraleeae (Fabaceae) due to climate change.” BMC Biology 6:55.

  • Innes R.W., C. Ameline-Torregrosa, T. Ashfield, E. Cannon, S.B. Cannon, B. Chacko, N.W.G. Chen, A. Couloux, A. Dalwani, R. Denny, S. Deshpande, A.N. Egan, et al.  2008.  “Differential accumulation of retroelements and diversification of NB-LRR disease resistance genes in duplicated regions following polyploidy in the ancestor of soybean.”  Plant Physiology 148(4):1740-1759.

  • Egan, A.N., and K.A. Crandall. 2008.  “Incorporating gaps as phylogenetic characters across eight DNA regions: ramifications for North American Psoraleeae (Leguminosae).”  Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 46(2): 532-546.

  • Egan, A.N. and K.A. Crandall. 2006. Theory of Phylogenetic Estimation in Evolutionary Genetics: Concepts and Case Studies. C. W. Fox and J. B. Wolf. London, Oxford University Press.


BIOL 6993: Preparing for the Job Market (under Internships in Applied Biology; emphasis on job search strategies and preparation of job application materials).

BIOL 1030: Plants and Human Affairs (non-majors course with biology-honors section; emphasis on plants and people).

BIOL 3230, 3231:Field Botany (plant identification and field techniques

Sustainable Tourism | Ashley Egan

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