Understanding the evolution of infectious disease at the invasion front

2020-03-26T02:52:35Z (GMT) by LOUISE SOLVEIG NOERGAARD
Understanding the occurrence and spread of infectious disease is a major challenge to epidemiologists and evolutionary biologists. As a result of range expansions, invasions and patch colonisation, pathogens encounter highly dynamic host populations, where infection strategies that optimise transmission and exploitation may not be the same across a landscape. My thesis provides some of the first empirical evidence of how disease may evolve when encountering conditions that mimic the core and front of an invading host population. I test for a range of ecological consequences of range expansion on pathogen fitness, and discuss how pathogens might evolve when travelling with their host.