|Figure 1B from Baym's science paper (link above). The real size is on the order of feet... that is a LOT of bugs.|
the Gore, Hallatschek and Korolev labs thinking about mutational surfing (essentially at the wave tip there is a changed effective population size so the balance between drift and selection can change)
Formulating a model of (stochastic) mutation dynamics in a Fisher-like wave like those before us yielded known results. For a range of parameters, fixation of mutants can be promoted near the wave front - often called "mutations surfing on a wave".
This is our first real effort working in the range expansion space -- so we are very eager for any feedback (in particular if we've missed key references or if this is already a solved problem!).
Please check out the full preprint on bioRxiv for more details, and drop us a line if you have comments/questions.