Here’s an adapted extract from part of my original thesis. I removed this in the end, since it wasn’t directly relevant to the spread of invasive species and the thesis was already too long. This text does however link several different fields that are interested in the spread of something, and I find connections across scientific fields interesting because these days they are rife with fertile research directions.
The seminal works of R. H. Fisher (1937) described the propagation and diffusion of advantageous alleles in a population, and a lot of current theory on spread and dispersal has it’s root in population genetics.
Recent work on the spread of humans, with heredity between individuals, have indicated that certain mutations are either maintained with low frequencies at their origin or are propagated along wave fronts. If these mutations are tracked then it is possible to establish their origin (Ibrahim, 2004).