Dr. Russell's interests center on ethics and education related to human-animal relationships, especially children's experiences of animals and nature. With a background in environmental education at zoos, aquariums, non-profit organizations, and parks, he is passionate about teaching and learning related to environmental issues, wildlife and natural history, and social issues related to conservation and sustainability. In the classroom, Dr. Russell uses popular education methods like storytelling, group discussion, and artistic methods to engage students as partners in looking at and addressing difficult questions about human-animal relationships and larger movements such as conservation or sustainability. His research is focused mainly on children's relationships with animals that involve death, loss, or suffering, including the loss of pets, hunting and fishing, agricultural use of animals, and wider environmental concerns like species loss and climate change. Dr. Russell also does research and writing using queer theory, to critically question the goals and moral directions of environmental education and conservation work. He has various publications in anthrozoological volumes and environmental education journals.
- Vogt Foundation Community Grant
- Culture and Animals Foundation Research Grant
- Canisius College Dean's Summer Research Grant
- Animals & Society Institute Human-Animal Studies Fellowship
- John Livingston Ecological Conscience Award
Russell, J. (2019). "Telling better stories: Toward critical, place-based, and multispecies narrative pedagogies in hunting and fishing cultures." The Journal of Environmental Education, doi: 10.1080/00958964.2019.1641064
Russell, J. & Fawcett, L. (2019). “On Child/Animal Vulnerability and an Embodied Pedagogy of Conviviality.” In A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone, & E. Barratt-Hacking (eds)., International Research Handbook on ChildhoodNature. Springer Publishing.
Russell, J. (2016). ““Everything has to die one day:” children’s explorations of the meanings of death in human-animal-nature relationships.” Environmental Education Research, 23(1), 75-90.
Russell, J. (2016). “’I remember everything:’ Children, companion animals, and a relational pedagogy of remembrance.” In M. DeMello (ed.), Mourning Animals: Rituals and practices surrounding animal death. Michigan State University Press.
Russell, J. (2013). “Whose ‘Better’? (re)orientating a queer ecopedagogy.” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 18, 11-26.