Dr 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.

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.

Research Supervised


  • Davy, Michael (in progress). Foraging on café sugar-packets by the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): Learning mechanisms, distribution and public perception.
  • Seal, Laura (in progress). Canine detection of koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) scent.
  • Crawford, Margaret (in progress). Using dogs for lung cancer screening.
  • Babington, Ocean (in progress). Addressing canine separation anxiety using systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning.
  • Vallyon, Lolita (in progress). Toheroa vs. South Island Pied Oystercatcher: Demystifying
  • Collins, Melissa (submitted). Biological olfactory repellents and their potential use to repel dogs (Canis familiaris) from anticoagulant poison.the relationship.
  • Hobbs, Alisha (completed). Comparative importance of training stimuli used in an avian aversion training protocol for the domestic dog (Canis familiaris).
  • Giezen, Claudia (2018). The effect of response requirement and target probability on the performance of dogs during a go/no-go scent detection task.
  • Quaife, Jesse (2018). Detection of an invasive aquatic species by canine olfaction.
  • 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?

BSc (Hons)

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

Teaching Commitments


Animal Behaviour; Biology; Learning

Dogs; Conservation; Wildlife

Recent Publications

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

  • 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 Birds New Zealand Conference. Conference held Waitangi.

  • Ling, N., Browne, C. M., Edwards, T., & Crawford, M. (2018). Dogs that sniff out pest fish. In Radio New Zealand: Our Changing World. Retrieved from

  • Browne, C. M., Quaife, J. A., Edwards, T. L., Ling, N., & Tempero, G. W. (2018). Conservation dogs: Detection of invasive fish in freshwater. In Canine Science Forum. Conference held at Eötvös Loránd Unversity, Budapest, Hungary.

View All research publications by Clare Browne

Contact Details

Room: R.2.15
Phone: +64 7 838 4139