Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Chair for Women in Science and Engineering

Tamara website

MSVU holds one of five NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering in Canada. The Chair’s program provides opportunities for i) girls to engage with relevant role models and have hands-on Science experiences, and for ii) professional women working in Science to network and discuss challenges they face. The Chair raises awareness of these issues to leaders throughout Atlantic Canada and advises them on action plans.

Furthermore, by working with partners such as Techsploration, Skills-Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Community Colleges, the program enables girls to access relevant role models in a variety of STEM-based careers. Resources such as role model videos, career posters and booklets are developed and provided to Science and Math teachers across Atlantic Canada.

For more information on the project, click here to visit the Wise Atlantic site.

Tamara website 2Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Professor, Biology

Dr. Franz-Odendaal is a developmental biologist and anatomist with expertise in evolutionary –developmental biology. She leads a vibrant and growing research group at the Mount. Her research examines the comparative development of the vertebrate skeleton, with a particular focus on the craniofacial skeleton. Dr. Franz-Odendaal has received numerous awards for her research including the 2015 MSVU Research Excellence Award, and the Young Investigator’s Morphological Sciences Award from the American Association of Anatomists in 2013. You can find out more about her research here.

The NSERC Atlantic Chair for Women in Science and Engineering has been held by Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, a Biology Professor since 2011. The aim of her WISEatlantic program is to inspire more young women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-based careers and to provide networking opportunities for professional women in these fields. This is done by giving girls in junior high and high school access to female role models in these fields and by engaging them in fun, hands-on STEM activities, such as at the Girls Get WISE Science Retreats and Science Camps. WISEatlantic also supports and connects female professionals working in the STEM fields in Atlantic Canada through networking events and professional development workshops, such as the Atlantic Regional Connections Conferences. Dr. Franz-Odendaal is frequently invited to provide expert opinion on gender biases within STEM fields, and on equity and inclusion practices within academic workplaces.

Visit www.WISEatlantic.ca to find out more about the program or follow @WISEatlantic on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal is also the 2015 Research Excellence Award winner.