Dr Franz-Odendaal is research scientist and Professor of Biology at Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is the current Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for Atlantic Canada (2011-2023). She runs an externally funded research program in skeletal development and evolution, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Franz-Odendaal is President of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (NSIS) and co-founder and lead Ally of the Canadian Black Scientists Network. Dr Franz-Odendaal received the Mount’s Research Excellence Award for her outstanding contributions to the research community and climate at the Mount (2015), and more recently was the recipient of the Mount’s Diversity and Leadership Award (2020). She is also recognized as a Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists (2020). Dr Franz-Odendaal teachers Histology and Developmental Biology to undergraduate students at her university.