Pathogen evolution and population dynamics

Pathogens are ideal systems for studying evolution, with their large population sizes, high mutation rates, short generation times, and near-replicate natural experiments in different infections. They are especially exciting because many of the most fundamental evolutionary questions about the nature of species and genetic diversity are just starting to be answerable for microbes. At the same time, evolution and population genetics are some of our best lenses for answering practically important questions about pathogen spread and dynamics.