Photo Lagos lighthouseI’m a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida (2008-present). I received my PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2006), and I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in medical anthropology and public health at Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University (2006-08).

I’m interested in gender and governance, broadly speaking. Specifically, my research examines reproductive rights, health, and policies in Poland, Ireland, and in the context of EU governance. This long-term research is the subject of my ethnography, The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland published by Ohio University Press in 2015, and the Winner of the Adele E. Clarke Book Award in 2017.

During 2020-2021, I was the Principal Investigator on a WHO research study “Policy Implementation – Access to Safe Abortion Services in the Republic of Ireland,” which examined barriers and facilitators to policy implementation since January 2019.

Another current/recent project (2016-2022) in Europe on which I serve as a Senior Researcher examines the international phenomenon of cross-border travel for abortion care. This is a collaborative anthropology and epidemiology project led by Silvia De Zordo, PhD, at the University of Barcelona. Based on a pilot project we conducted in London in 2014-15, we are focusing on travel between and within several countries: the UK, Spain, France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy – see our website for details. ​

I am also interested in the developments around reproductive rights and policies in Malta, where recent changes show a growing feminist movement is gaining momentum. Although Malta is a rather small nation in terms of population, it is of great importance for the Council of Europe politics with the same voting rights as any other EU nation.

Locally in Florida, I am part of a collaboration with colleagues at the UCF College of Medicine on research that examines barriers to receiving quality healthcare services for sexual minority youth, with a focus on LGB care. 

My research has been funded by the World Health Organization, the Fulbright Scholarship, the European Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Research Exchanges Board (IREX), the Devaney Fellowship, the Charlotte Ellertson Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The Brocher Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland, has been an important supporter of my work and publications on access to assisted reproductive technologies in Europe.

I’m also passionate about teaching and mentoring students in research, and have been recognized with several awards for this work.

Twitter @JoannaMishtal

CV 2023: