I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
There's some serious Paul Serreno worship going on here! Not that there's anything wrong with that, exactly.....
I know I have biases toward the paleontologists in my province too, especially Phil Currie, who is possibly the nicest scientist that I have ever met. When I was in Cuba, our bird tour leader was a university professor who was a geologist. When he found out that I was a dyed-in-the-wool dinosaur fan, he took us to a place where we could see & touch the K/T boundary. I was thrilled, although I'm not sure that the other members of the tour really understood its significance. This Cuban prof was more of the "birds aren't dinosaurs" persuasion and we had some intense discussions of the issue. Until I finally just said, "Look, Phil Currie works in my area and he is my hero. So as far as I am concerned, birds are dinosaurs." We agreed to disagree. But I will always remember laying my hand on that iridium layer, that divides the Cretaceous from the Tertiary.
Dinosaurs are wondrous creatures!