Research Overview

The Franz-Odendaal bone development lab is run by Dr Tamara Franz-Odendaal.  Our uses an Evo-Devo approach to understand both the development and the evolution of the vertebrate skull.  We have two primary research interests. One is to understand the evolution and development of the scleral ossicle (sclerotic ring) system. For these developmental biology studies, we use the chick as our model organism.  Our second research area is to understand the incredible diverse array of teleost (bony fish) skeletons and how they develop and have evolved.  For this research we primarily use the Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) as our fish model organisms.

We primarily focus on the neural crest derived intramebranous bones of the vertebrate skull.


Our Research is funded by:

Canadian Foundation of Innovation (CFI)

Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT)

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)

Canadian Space Agency – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (CSA-ACOA)  funded in 2010-2013

Mount Saint Vincent University – internal funding grants