Andean Bear Expert Team Co-Chair
Russ serves San Diego Zoo Global as a scientist in Applied Animal Ecology, conducting research for the conservation of Andean bears, primarily in Peru. He tries to integrate ecological and behavioral theory into conservation research and practice. He’s interested in habitat use, dispersal, gene flow, and mating systems, and how these processes are influenced by animal kinship and experience. Russ studied prairie raptors for his M.S. at Montana State University, spotted hyenas for his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, and savannah baboons during a postdoctoral appointment at Duke University. He has advised and mentored students working on Andean bears, American black bears, and bighorn sheep. He strives to build capacity and engage local participants to achieve long-term impacts on research and conservation.