Paleoanthropologist Tim White is one of the 2010 Time 100, Time Magazine’s annual list of the most influential people in the world.

As one of the leaders of the Middle Awash Project and editor of the UC Press Middle Awash series, White and his team work in Ethiopia’s Afar region, sifting through layers of earth to find traces of human origins. Their work has yielded many fossil treasures that offer a glimpse of the world millions of years ago, and reveal the faces of some of the earliest hominids.

Last October, the 47-member team, which also includes UC Press editors Giday WoldeGabriel, Berhane Asfaw, and Yohannes Haile-Selassie, published their revolutionary discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus (“Ardi”), a 4.4 million year old fossil hominid. Ardi’s skeleton is the most complete fossil evidence older than “Lucy”, and her bones reveal new details about human evolution. The discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus was Science Magazine’s Breakthrough of 2009.