Dr. L. DeGreeff and P. Bunker - Training aid handling and storage considerations [webinar recording]

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Mrs Dr. Lauryn DeGreeff

Lauryn E. DeGreeff earned her PhD in forensic chemistry from Florida International University in Miami, FL, where she is presently an associate professor in the Chemistry Department and the International Forensic Science Research Institute and where she carries out research in the area of volatiles analysis as it relates to vapor detection by canine and instruments. Prior to returning to FIU, Dr. DeGreeff conducted her research as part of the Chemistry Division at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. She takes a chemistry-based approach to studying olfaction for the purpose of informing field vapor sampling practices. Her research focuses on trace vapor sampling, characterization, and generation in support of canine and other field detection approaches. Dr. DeGreeff regularly lectures on the dynamics of odor for the operational community and at national and international scientific conferences. She has also authored a many peer-reviewed manuscripts, holds four pending and completed patents, and is the editor of the book entitled Canines: The Original Biosensor, to be released in early 2022.


Canines are sensitive and selective, vapor detectors that can easily be trained to locate novel materials; however, they can just as easily be unknowingly trained to the wrong odor. Contamination or degradation of training aids due to faulty storage can cause changes in the odor signatures of the training aids. Changes in the odor signature due to contamination or degradation often cannot be seen by the naked eye, and are even imperceptible to human olfaction. However changes in the odor signatures of your training aid could be detrimental to your dog’s detection proficiency. This seminar will cover the importance of proper training aid handling and storage, and will give examples of how faulty protocols can quickly change the odor perceived by your dog. We will explain the three sources of contamination, including non-target odor, human scent, and cross-contamination and discuss recommendations for preventing contamination in your training aids and training area.
Dr. Lauryn E. DeGreeff has worked in the field of analytical chemistry in support of canine detection for more than 13 years. She is currently employed as a research chemist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and will be joining Florida International University, Chemistry Department as an Associate Professor in Fall 2021. Dr. DeGreeff received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Forensic Science from Florida International University in 2010. Her research focused on the sampling, characterization, and delivery of human odor, living and deceased, for the purpose of canine detection. Following the completion of her doctorate, she worked as a research fellow at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. Her research focus was detection and determination of human scent and odor and human blood for the development / improvement of canine training aids and training methods. Dr. DeGreeff began her research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in 2012 with focus on the characterization of explosives for instrumental and canine detection. She has since developed and patented a canine training tool for training on mixed odors, which was brought to commercial market. Additional research has included a chemistry-based approach to studying canine olfaction for the purpose of improving canine training and informing field vapor sampling practices. Dr. DeGreeff has published numerous journal articles, holds three patents, has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, and frequently gives educational seminars law enforcement officers and military personnel on the topic of odor chemistry.
Paul Bunker served in the British Army as a Canine Trainer/Instructor/Assessor for over 22 years. During this time, he was the Senior Instructor/Trainer of Mine Detection Dog/Handler Training for the UK and US Military. He established and was the Senior Technical Advisor for the Dept. of Defense’s Specialized Search Dog program and program manager on advanced canine detection research for the Navy/United States Marine Corp. He is the founder and Principal of Chiron K9, a consulting and training company focused on canine detection. He is a co-author of canine detection research papers and the workbook “Imprint Your Detection Dog in 15 Days”.