Dr. Russell is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University in Australia. He is also Curator Emeritus of Fishes at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Dr. Russell is also Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Snappers, Seabreams and Grunts Red List Authority.

His current research interests include:
- Rapid biodiversity assessment
- Bioregional/ biodiversity studies of shelf/ slope fishes of the northern Australian region
- Deepwater fish biodiversity of tropical Indo-W. Pacific basins
Taxonomy and systematics of lizardfishes (Synodontidae) and threadfin breams (Nemipteridae) of the world
- History of early natural history in northern Australia

Current Major Projects:
- Conservation assessment of tropical demersal fishes of the Indo-West Pacific
- Taxonomy and phylogenetics of the lizard fish genus Saurida
- Taxonomy and phylogenetics of the threadfin breams, family Nemipteridae
- The ichthyological contributions of F.L. de Castelnau