Carnegie Mellon University

Edmund Russell

Edmund Russell

Professor of History, David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change

  • Baker Hall 243A
  • 412-268-4722


Edmund Russell studies environmental history, history of technology, and American history.  Major research topics have included the environmental and technological history of war, coevolution of human and non-human populations, and the environmental and technological history of capitalism.  He is currently writing a history of the U.S. transcontinental telegraph, which was built in 1861. 

Professor Russell has published many articles and books, including:

  • Edmund Russell, Greyhound Nation: A Coevolutionary History of England, 1200-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2018). 
  • Sally K. Fairfax and Edmund Russell (editors), Guide to U. S. Environmental Policy (CQ Press, 2014).
  • Edmund Russell, Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth (Cambridge University Press, 2011). 
  • Richard P. Tucker and Edmund Russell (editors), Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2004).
  • Edmund Russell, War and Nature: Fighting Humans and Insects with Chemicals from World War I to Silent Spring (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Professor Russell’s honors and positions include:

  • Guggenheim Fellow
  • President, American Society for Environmental History
  • Dibner Distinguished Chair in the History of Science and Technology, Huntington Library
  • Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians
  • Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of United States History, University of Kansas
  • Vice President for Research, American Historical Association
  • Leopold-Hidy Prize, American Society for Environmental History and Forest History Society
  • Edelstein Prize, Society for the History of Technology
  • Forum for the History of Science in America Prize
  • State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award
  • Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award, University of Virginia
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • Rachel Carson Prize, American Society for Environmental History
  • B.A. with distinction and highest honors, Stanford University

Professor Russell has a keen interest in interdisciplinary research and teaching.  He earned a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in biology en route to becoming a historian.  His research methods often synthesize history with biology, especially ecology, evolution, and neuroscience.  Professor Russell came to Carnegie Mellon in 2019 partly because of the university’s emphasis on creative, interdisciplinary work. 


Ph.D.: University of Michigan, 1993
Department Member Since: 2019