Dean Russell

Science and investigative journalist

Dean is an award-winning reporter and producer covering science, health and equity. His work has been published by the Center for Public Integrity, THE CITY, Grist, Hakai Magazine, The Guardian, The Nation, NPR, Mother Jones, Smithsonian, The Texas Tribune, Type Investigations, WBUR and others. 

He is a producer for WBUR Podcasts and an editor for THE CITY's "MISSING THEM" project to document COVID-19's effect on communities in New York City. He was a '20 Columbia Journalism Investigations fellow and an associate producer for NPR and WBUR's "Here & Now" and "On Point."

His reporting for the Center for Public Integrity and Columbia Journalism Investigations' series "Hidden Epidemics" helped earn first prize for public-health reporting (large) in the 2020 Association of Health Care Journalists awards and for investigative journalism (online) in the Society of Professional Journalists, D.C. Chapter, 2021 Dateline awards.

He also wrote and reported for "MISSING THEM," which received the News Leaders Association's 2021 Punch Sulzberger Innovator of the Year Award and ONA's 2021 Knight Award for Public Service. His investigation of a New York State-run nursing home earned an EPPY award for best collaborative investigation in 2021.

In 2019, he earned a Master of Arts in science reporting from Columbia Journalism School.​


Investigations & Longform

A selection of in-depth, accountability-driven reporting.

Thousands of working-age Americans have died from the virus, underscoring the often-crushing financial fallout of losing a loved one to the pandemic. Some are seeking a compensation fund modeled on aid for 9/11 victims’ kin.

By Dean Russell
April 8, 2021

How a decade of neglect and politics undermined the CDC’s fight against climate change.

By Dean Russell, Elisabeth Gawthrop, Veronica Penney, Ali Raj & Bridget Hickey

June 16, 2020

From climate-fueled storms to COVID-19, mounting catastrophes are sowing stress and trauma. The country’s one program to help reaches only a fraction of survivors.

By Dean Russell & Jamie Smith Hopkins

August 25, 2020


The mounting mental toll of disasters

Healing emotional wounds after disaster

An oil company wants to drill in Big Cypress National Preserve. Laws over mineral rights have complicated the fight to stop it.

By Dean Russell
March 9, 2021


News Clips

A selected collection of short print stories.

Researchers looked at the medical records of 230,000 U.S. survivors of COVID-19 and found 34% of them experienced such issues. Of those, 13% had no recorded history of a mental or psychological diagnosis.

By Dean Russell and Robin Young

April 8, 2021

New research into when and why people go to hospitals after hurricanes will help these facilities better prepare for future disasters

By Dean Russell
April 1, 2021

A federal hotline received 27,000 calls and texts after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency

By Dean Russell & Jamie Smith Hopkins

April 2, 2020

International regulators are looking to protect the key seabird feeding ground as a high-seas marine protected area.

By Dean Russell
Nov. 22, 2021

The effort to bring Mexican gray wolves back to the Southwest is complicated by the fuzzy line between science and politics.

By Dean Russell

October 21, 2018



A selected collection of stories for public radio and podcasts.

The meat and dairy industry accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What would it take to reach net-zero?

By Dean Russell
April 26, 2021

Untreated inmates are 12 times more likely to overdose in the first two weeks after release. One drug may offer a solution

By Dean Russell
March 30, 2017

An estimated 4% U.S. inmates did not commit the crime for which they've been convicted. Few have their convictions reversed. Lamonte McIntyre is one of them.

By Dean Russell
November 22, 2017