Author ORCID Identifier

C. Brandon Ogbunugafor: 0000-0002-1581-8345

Salvador Almagro-Moreno: 0000-0002-1121-1204

Marisabel Rodriguez-Messan: 0000-0002-3555-5810

Sudam Surasinghe: 0000-0001-7721-8735

Jane Molofsky: 0000-0001-7721-8735




Infectious disease emergence has become the target of cross-disciplinary efforts
that aim to understand and predict the shape of outbreaks. The many challenges
involved with the prediction of disease emergence events is a characteristic that in-
fectious diseases share with biological invasions in many subfields of ecology (e.g.,
how certain plants are able to successfully invade a new niche). Like infectious
diseases, biological invasions by plants and animals involve interactions between
agents (pathogens and plants in their respective cases) and a recipient niche. In
this study, we examine the problem of pathogen emergence through the lens of a
framework first developed for the study of plant invasions, restructured to apply
to pathogen invaders. We utilize mathematical techniques to examine how com-
plex dynamics emerge between the various actors in a multi-component pathogen
invasion process, which implies invasion frameworks can offer new insight on the
particulars of infectious disease emergence. Summarizing, we consider these re-
sults in context of their application to epidemiology, and more broadly with regards to modern efforts to bring the vernacular of complex systems to more real-world systems and problems. In doing so, we demonstrate the potential power in math-
ematizing conceptual models, and connecting ideas across disparate fields, toward
a more rigorous picture of the nuances that underlie the dynamics of biological