Russell joins Far Western with a rich background in both resource paleontology as well as research into geobiological interactions from the present back to over three billion years ago. He received his B.S. in Geology from Humboldt State University, which he credits for a rich training in Quaternary geology. Russell then went on to the University of California, Santa Barbara, receiving his Ph.D. in 1998. After teaching at colleges in Maine, Nevada, Colorado, and Minnesota, he settled at Chico State where he has been since 2006.
As a federally-recognized Qualified Paleontologist, Russell has worked on a wide variety of projects in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. He particularly enjoys primary geological mapping though fossil preparation is also an exciting task. His scholarly research has led him to excavations throughout the world, most recently to northern Alaska and South Africa. However, his heart will always stay true to the Basin and Range. In 2019, he received the Distinguished Career award from the Geobiology Division of the Geological Society of America.