Born in 1955 and grew up in Ardsley, N.Y.; wife Alison Gold Flynn; daughter Rachel, 14, and son Peter, 10.
A "rocks for jocks" class got him interested in geology as an undergraduate; Degrees from Yale University and Columbia University; MacArthur Curator of Fossil Mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago.
Perks of the job: "Intellectual questions have to drive what you do to be a successfull scientist, but for me part of the appeal of being a field-oriented paleontologist is that you get to go to some amazingly cool places. I like to try to pick potential projects in places I would really enjoy immersing myself."
Where will he go next?"That's a good question and I'm not sure I want to saybecause somebody else might go there first. That's part of the game. If you want to have that kind of impact, you have to be the first one to jump in there. There are lots of places that are potentially intriguing."
Image: Kate Wong
ANDR R. WYSS
Born in 1958 in Montreal, Canada, to engineer father, Robert, and language teacher mother, Jacqueline; wife, Susan Walker; daughters Natalie, 7, and Camille, 5.
Degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, San Diego State University and Columbia; a professor of geological sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
When he's not working, he enjoys playing with his daughters, hiking, swimming and walking the dog.
What he does on those long plane trips: reads the New York Times and the New Yorkerthings he "never gets through otherwise."
On paleontological field work: "It's a funny business. It can be really frustrating when you go for weeks without finding stuff that gets you all excited. But those are the dues you pay for the elation that comes with finding something completely new. We know that there are these little surprises buried all over the place here."