Professor Plutynski is a historian and philosopher of biology. She has written on the role of modeling in science, scientific explanation, metaphors in science, abduction, appeals to parsimony in evolutionary theorizing, and the role of chance in evolutionary biology.
Anya Plutynski's coedited book, with Sahotra Sarkar, A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology, is a collection of concise overviews of philosophical issues raised by all areas of biology.
Her book Explaining Cancer develops a view of cancer as a heterogeneous natural kind, and uses cancer research as a case study for testing competing philosophical views of causation and scientific explanation.
Other research interests include evidence-based medicine, biomedical research ethics, particularly issues surrounding risk communication, over diagnosis and over treatment, and biodiversity conservation.