Post Doc (Dalhousie University, Canada)
PhD (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
MSc (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
BSc (Med)(Hons) (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Office: Evaristus 238
Lab: Evaristus 121/225
Research Website click here
Dr Franz-Odendaal is a developmental biologist with a strong background in evolutionary-developmental biology. Her research is focused on comparative vertebrate development and evolution. Specifically, we study the developmental processes for development of the craniofacial skeleton (i.e. the skull). Her research combines the study of fossils (paleontology) with the study of body shape (morphology) and development in living organisms. We are also interested in how non-chemical pollutants affect the development and growth of the skeleton.
A second research interest is in equity and inclusion practices within Science fields. Dr Franz-Odendaal has extensive expertise in equity and inclusion.
Dr Franz-Odendaal joined the Mount in 2006 and is a Full Professor in the Department of Biology. Dr Franz-Odendaal currently holds the NSERC Atlantic Chair for Women in Science and Engineering . Through this position, she leads a program called WISEatlantic that empowers young women to pursue a career in STEM and provides professional development opportunities for junior STEM professionals.
Dr Franz-Odendaal received the Mount’s Research Excellence Award in 2015 and the American Association of Anatomists Young Investigator’s Award in 2013. More recently she was awarded the MSVU Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award (2020) and was recognized as a Fellow of the American Association of Anatomy (2020). She serves on the editorial board of a number of leading journals in her areas of expertise. Dr Franz-Odendaal is the current President of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science and a co-founder and lead ally of the Canadian Black Scientists Network.
In the past Dr Franz-Odendaal has served on the board of Science Atlantic, CCWESTT, the Pan-American Evolutionary-Developmental Biology Society, the Canadian Society of Zoologists, the American Association of Anatomists and the Nova Scotian Institute of Science. Within federal granting agencies, she has served on the NSERC PromoScience Selection committee and the NSERC Discovery Grants Review Panel.
Dr Franz-Odendaal grew up in sunny Cape Town, South Africa, and moved to Halifax in 2003 with her husband. They have one daughter.