Dr Claire Brennan is a lecturer in History at JCU.  She teaches and supervises at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is an active researcher in environmental history.

Claire's honours project led her to an interest in the history of sport hunting, first in New Zealand, then globally.  Her University of Melbourne PhD thesis looked at the history of hunting in New Zealand and Australia, and placed it in its global context.  Since coming to Townsville Claire's interests have become more tropical.  She continues to research the history of hunting (including the history of recreational fishing, of the safari, and of crocodile hunting in northern Australia) and her interest in animal history has extended to include the history of livestock breeding.  Her teaching has led her to publish within global history, and her place at James Cook University has led her to an interest in the physical process of early European exploration within the Pacific and across the Australian continent.

Claire is currently working on the Coral Discovery project, and is engaged in digitally mapping all the European scientific voyages that entered the Pacific between 1768 and 1834.  Mapping these voyages and providing connections to the journals kept by captains and scientific workers will help address questions about Pacific pasts, support identification of the origins of scientific specimens, and support the work of modern scientists interested in environmental baselines.

Claire is a successful supervisor, and supervises a wide range of topics at doctorate, masters, and honours levels.  She is regularly interviewed by the media. 

  • HI2001: The History of Global Connections (Level 2; TSV)
  • HI2009: War and Australian Society (Level 2; TSV)
  • Media and Community Engagement: Claire has granted numerous interviews in order to promote her research within the broader community. In particular she has been interviewed about the history of crocodile hunting in Australia
  • Supporting the Teaching of History in Townsville's Schools: since 2017 Claire has co-organised History Teachers' Professional Development Days.
  • Community Engagement with Local History: Claire has given numerous public lectures in Townsville on local topics. In addition she organises a JCU history stall at Townsville City Council's Heritage Day, and produces local history exhibitions
  • Environmental History of Australia and New Zealand
  • History of Hunting: Claire has published on this topic and continues to research the history of sport hunting; the history of recreational fishing; and commercial and sport hunting of crocodiles within Australia
  • Digital History: Claire has published an overview of the field of digital history
  • Townsville History: Claire has been part of projects supported by small grants to research and produce public exhibitions: Townsville Turns 150: the Old and the News; Between Battles: Commemorating the Cultural Lives of Soldiers. She is part of JCU grant funded projects exploring Tropical Heritage and Townsville naming practises. She is presently completing a Townsville Council-funded project that will make student research conducted a JCU accessible to the public
  • Digital History: in 2017-2018 Claire recieved an LTSE grant and updated assessment across the history major to include digital history components
  • History of Exploration: Claire teaches in this area and has published on debates surrounding Pacific exploration, and on the constraints Cook's ship imposed on his first circumnavigation.
  • 2006 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2005 to 2006 - Casual tutor, University of Auckland (Auckland)
  • 2001 to 2004 - PhD candidate, University of Melbourne (Melbourne)
  • 1999 - History Honours Student (1st class), University of Auckland (Auckland)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2003 to 2018 - Membership of Australian Historical Association
  • 2019 - Nomination for CHASS Australia Distinctive Work Prize
  • 2018 - Nomination for Supervisor of the Year
  • 2017 - Nomination for JCU Awards for Excellence: Community Engagement.
  • 2016 - Nomination for JCU Awards for Excellence: Cross-Unit Collaboration

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 48+ research outputs authored by Dr Claire Brennan from 2002 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • History of botanical illustration at Endeavour River Valley, Queensland, Australia, 1770-1999 (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Management of South East Queensland Forestry: On the Boundary between Economy and Ecology (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • "In any direction it would be difficult to find one acre of level ground?: The Mining and Social Landscapes of the Normanby Goldfield, near Bowen, North Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • An Army of Naturalists: John Gould's Australian Network of Collectors and Correspondents. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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