Mihaela Pavlicev is evolutionary biologist with a wide range of interests. After finishing her PhD in Ecology in Vienna, 2003, she joined Natural History Museum in Vienna to work on molecular phylogenetics of reptiles (with E. Haring, W. Mayer). This was followed by two consecutive postdoctoral appointments in evolutionary quantitative genetics, in St. Louis (with J. Cheverud) and in Oslo (with T. Hansen). Mihaela subsequently returned to Vienna as a postdoctoral fellow at KLI and lecturer at the University of Vienna, before taking a faculty position at the University of Cincinnati Medical School/ Cincinnati Children`s Hospital in Ohio in 2013.
Mihaela`s work has been focused around the influence of the structure of genotype-phenotype map on evolutionary response to selection, as well as the evolution of this map. Two aspects of the genotype-phenotype map, which is essentially an abstraction of developmental/physiological genetic structure, have been of particular interest: the evolution of gene effects and the impact of pleiotropic genes affecting multiple traits.
More recently, Mihaela started exploring how evolutionary approaches to studying variation of traits, both short- and long term, can be used to understand specific trait states, namely disease. Recent work includes theoretical and experimental work focusing on the evolution of mammalian pregnancy and its relevance for human medicine.