Mihaela Pavličev

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.

Deputy Head of the Department of Evolutionary Biology

Head of the Unit for Theoretical Biology

phone +43-1-4277-56700

External links

Profile in ResearchGate

Profile in Google Scholar

Teaching at the Univ. Vienna

 About me

My foremost interest is in the organismal features that enable evolvability of complex organisms. To understand phenotypic evolution, we need to understand what patterns of heritable phenotypic variation the developmental/physiological systems are able to produce, what are the consequences of specific patterns of variation over short terms (population genetic scale) and long terms (species divergence observed in comparative biology) under selection and drift, and how the patterns of variation themselves evolve.

One recurring evolutionary phenomenon is the decoupling of variation between traits, and subsequent individuation of parts and the origin of new biological units. In this context, my work pertains to the role of pleiotropy and interactions in this process.

I pursue these questions of evolvability and individuation in theory as well as in empirical work on the evolution of limbs and of the mammalian female reproductive system.


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Kshitiz, Afzal, J., Maziarz, J. D., Hamidzadeh, A., Liang, C., Erkenbrack, E. M., Nam, H., Haeger, J-D., Pfarrer, C., Hoang, T., Ott, T., Spencer, T., Pavličev, M., Antczak, D. F., Levchenko, A., & Wagner, G. P. (2019). Evolution of placental invasion and cancer metastasis are causally linked. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(12), 1743-1753. doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1046-4

Sahu, B. S., Rodriguez, P., Nguyen, M. E., Han, R., Cero, C., Razzoli, M., Piaggi, P., Laskowski, L. J., Pavlicev, M., Muglia, L., Mahata, S. K., O'Grady, S., McCorvy, J. D., Baier, L. J., Sham, Y. Y., & Bartolomucci, A. (2019). Peptide/Receptor Co-evolution Explains the Lipolytic Function of the Neuropeptide TLQP-21. Cell Reports, 28(10), 2567-2580.e6. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.07.101


Dunn-Fletcher, C. E., Muglia, L. M., Pavlicev, M., Wolf, G., Sun, M-A., Hu, Y-C., Huffman, E., Tumukuntala, S., Thiele, K., Mukherjee, A., Zoubovsky, S., Zhang, X., Swaggart, K. A., Lamm, K. Y. B., Jones, H., Macfarlan, T. S., & Muglia, L. J. (2018). Anthropoid primate-specific retroviral element THE1B controls expression of CRH in placenta and alters gestation length. PLoS Biology, 16(9), e2006337. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2006337


Pavličev, M., Wagner, G. P., Chavan, A. R., Owens, K., Maziarz, J., Dunn-Fletcher, C., Kallapur, S. G., Muglia, L., & Jones, H. (2017). Single-cell transcriptomics of the human placenta: inferring the cell communication network of the maternal-fetal interface. Genome Research, 27(3), 349-361. doi.org/10.1101/gr.207597.116

Zhang, G., Feenstra, B., Bacelis, J., Liu, X., Muglia, L. M., Juodakis, J., Miller, D. E., Litterman, N., Jiang, P. P., Russell, L., Hinds, D. A., Hu, Y., Weirauch, M. T., Chen, X., Chavan, A. R., Wagner, G. P., Pavličev, M., Nnamani, M. C., Maziarz, J., ... Muglia, L. J. (2017). Genetic Associations with Gestational Duration and Spontaneous Preterm Birth. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(12), 1156-1167. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1612665


Arendt, D., Musser, J. M., Baker, C. V. H., Bergman, A., Cepko, C., Erwin, D. H., Pavlicev, M., Schlosser, G., Widder, S., Laubichler, M. D., & Wagner, G. P. (2016). The origin and evolution of cell types. Nature Reviews. Genetics, 17(12), 744-757. doi.org/10.1038/nrg.2016.127

Showing entries 0 - 20 out of 55