A photo of Mihaela Pavlicev.

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Biography & Affiliation


Dr. Pavlicev received a PhD in ecology from the University of Vienna in 2003. After PhD she trained in molecular phylogenetics at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, primarily working on phylogenetics of lizards and birds. During subsequent postdoctoral training in quantitative genetics, she worked on the structure and evolution of the genotype-to-phenotype map, first at Washington University in St. Louis, and later at the Center for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo, Norway. She subsequently spent a year at Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition in Altenberg near Vienna and combined writing with teaching at the Department of Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna. She joined faculty at Cincinnati Children’s in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Pavlicev`s work focuses on understanding the patterns of phenotypic variation and its underlying genetics in the context of past evolution (see Publications). These approaches have fairly recently become used to understand human detrimental variation, i.e., disease, in a field commonly referred to as evolutionary medicine. Dr. Pavlicev`s lab focuses on the evolution of female reproduction and specifically pregnancy, in order to address the causes for the prevalence of premature births in human population.

Research Interests

The structure of genotype-phenotype map; evolutionary history of female reproductive biology

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Neonatology, Prevention of Preterm Birth, Human Genetics


PhD: University of Vienna, Austria, 2003.

Postdoc: Washington University St. Louis (with Jim Cheverud), University of Oslo (with Thomas Hansen).


Pavličev M, Wagner GP, Chavan AR, Owens K, Maziarz J, Dunn-Fletcher C, Kallapur SG, Muglia L, Jones H. Single-cell transcriptomics of the human placenta; inferring the cell communication network of the maternal-fetal interface. Genome Research. 2017;27(3):349-361.

Pavličev M, Norwitz E. Human parturition: nothing more than delayed menstruation. Reproductive Sciences. 2017;25(2):166-173.

Mitteroecker P, Huttegger SM, Fischer B, Pavličev M. Reply to Grossman: The role of natural selection for the increase of Caesarean section rates. PNAS. 2017;114(8):E1305-E1305. 

Arendt D, Musser JM, Baker CVH, Bergman A, Cepko C, Erwin DH, Pavličev M, Schlosser G, Widder S, Laubichler MD, Wagner GP. Evolution of sister cell types by individuation. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2016.

Kin K, Maziarz J, Chavan AR, Kamat M, Vasudevan S, Emera D, Lynch V, Ott T, Pavličev M, Wagner GP. The transcriptomic evolution of mammalian pregnancy: gene expression innovations in endometrial stromal fibroblasts. Genome biology and evolution. 2016.

Pavličev M, Wagner GP. The evolutionary origin of female orgasm. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 2016;326(6):326-337.

Mitteroecker P, Cheverud JM, Pavličev M. Multivariate Analysis of Genotype–Phenotype Association. Genetics. 2016;202(4):1345-1363.

Pavličev M, Cheverud JM. Constraints Evolve: Context-Dependency of Gene Effects Allows Evolution of Pleiotropy. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 2015;46(1).

Pavličev M, Hiratsuka K, Swaggart KA, Dunn C, Muglia LJ. Detecting endogenous retrovirus-driven tissue-specific gene transcription. Genome biology and evolution. 2015;7(4):1082-1097.

Swaggart K, Pavličev M, Muglia LJ. Genomics of Preterm Birth. In: Perspective on Human Reproductive and Newborn Medicine, ed: Norwitz E, Bianchi D. Cold Spring Harbor Perspective. 2015.