Doctor Tiffani Howell
ARG Research Officer
La Trobe University
I completed my PhD at Monash University in 2013 under the supervision of Professor Pauleen Bennett. My PhD thesis focused on different ways to measure cognitive processing in dogs, including owner surveys, behavioural studies, and EEG investigations using a minimally-invasive technique with pet dogs.
Since graduation, I have continued to work within the ARG at La Trobe University as a postdoctoral researcher. My main research interests are dog behaviour and cognition, human-animal relationships, and animal welfare. I have been part of a wide range of different projects, including: working with the Australian state of Victoria’s government to understand how pet owners of many animal species attempt to meet their pet’s welfare needs; developing a scientifically-validated protocol to train pet dogs to act as diabetes alert dogs, funded by a philanthropic organisation; and, working with racing greyhound organisations to better understand socialisation and training practices within the industry, and whether predatory behaviour, a barrier to adoption as a pet after the racing career ends, can be stopped.
Other recent projects include a study with the Australian National Disability Insurance Agency to review the effectiveness of assistance animals for owners with disability, and a project funded by Centre Against Violence to study whether the use of dogs in legal and therapeutic contexts can provide support to survivors of sexual and family violence.