Dr Clare Browne

Clare Browne


Qualifications: BSc, MSc Massey University; PhD Waikato

About Clare

We are currently seeking applications for two scholarships, one PhD and one Master's, to research dogs' ability to detect the odour of invasive freshwater fish in water samples.

For more information, see here.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


  • Schamhart, Titia (in progress). Behavioural ecology of native NZ bats in urban environments.
  • Collins, Melissa (in progress). Canine scent detection : a new approach to detect invasive freshwater fish?
  • Crawford, Margaret (in progress). Training scent detection dogs for the screening of lung cancer. (Psychology. Co-supervisor)


  • Little, Lauren (in progress).
  • Denby, Renee (in progress).
  • Dennis, Catherine (in progress).
  • Cooper, Ashlee (in progress).
  • Georgeson, Sean (in progress).
  • Vallyon, Lolita (2020). Birds vs. clams: Assessing the impacts of South Island Pied Oystercatcher : Predation on Toheroa at Ripiro Beach, New Zealand. (co-supervisor)
  • Davy, Michael (2019). Foraging on café sugar-packets by the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): Learning mechanisms, distribution and public perception.
  • Acton, Gemma (2017).  When allowed free choice do Saanen dairy goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) prefer to eat from an elevated or a floor level feeder?


  • Chia, Maria (Submitted).  (Co-supervisor)
  • Babington, Ocean (2019). Addressing canine separation anxiety using systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning. (Co-supervisor)
  • Seal, Laura (2019). Canine detection of koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) scent.
  • Giezen, Claudia (2018). The effect of response requirement and target probability on the performance of dogs during a go/no-go scent detection task. (Co-supervisor).
  • Quaife, Jesse (2018). Detection of an invasive aquatic species by canine olfaction. (Co-supervisor).


  • Collins, Melissa (2019). Biological olfactory repellents and their potential to deter domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) from anticoagulant rodenticides.
  • Hobbs, Alisha (2018). Comparative importance of training stimuli used in an avian aversion training protocol for the domestic dog (Canis familiaris).

BSc (Hons)

  • Connor, Rebecca (2018). Displacement behaviour and outdoor space in dairy goats.

Research Interests

I am interested in many aspects of animal behaviour, particularly applied animal behaviour. My background is in biological sciences, with a particular focus on animal behaviour, zoology, animal learning, and conservation.

I have developed a special interest in the behaviour of domestic dogs, and how this knowledge can be used in scent detection applications for conservation purposes, as well as other fields such as biosecurity and medical research. My research interests include scent detection, conservation, animal learning, animal welfare, human-animal interactions, and how urban wildlife adjust their behaviour in response to anthropogenic changes.

I have research collaborations across the School of Science and elsewhere in the University of Waikato, as well as with Massey University, Waikato DHB, and AgResearch.

Recent Publications

  • Edwards, T. L., Crawford, M., & Browne, C. M. (2019). An automated approach to training and testing medical detection dogs. In I-KDOG Cancer Detect Group 1st International Workshop. Paris, France.

  • Edwards, T., Giezen, C., Quaife, J., Crawford, M., Seal, L., & Browne, C. (2019). An automated approach to basic and applied scent-detection research with dogs. In 45th Association for Behavior Analysis International Annual Convention (ABAI). Chicago, IL.

  • Hobbs, A., Browne, C. M., Castro, I. C., & Edwards, T. L. (2018). Sight or smell: What makes ‘sense’ for dogs in kiwi aversion training?. In Society for Conservation Biology 5th Oceania Congress. Conference held Wellington, NZ.

  • Edwards, T., Browne, C. M., & Jameson, M. (2018). Dogs’ sensitive noses may be the key to early detection of lung cancer. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Clare Browne


Animal Behaviour; Biology; Learning

Dogs; Conservation; Wildlife

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: R.2.15
Phone: +64 7 838 4139