Faculty Profiles

Kathryn Maneiro

Kathryn Maneiro, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Geology

On Faculty since 2018


Dr. Kathryn Maneiro is a geochronologist who uses the mineral garnet to unravel Earth’s tectonic history.  During her doctoral work at Boston University and with support from an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, she developed and applied a new method for dating garnet in sediment and sedimentary rocks.  Following completion of her doctorate, Dr. Maneiro was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston College for a year, where she contributed to the set-up of the Boston College Center for Isotope Geochemistry, collaborated with external visitors, and dated the world’s second oldest known garnet in a sample from South Africa.  Since then, Dr. Maneiro has continued to use geochronology to explore the age and tectonic history of some of Earth’s oldest rocks.  For more information on Dr. Maneiro’s research, visit her website.

Dr. Maneiro also has extensive teaching experience.  When she started undergraduate she intended to teach high school biology, so she completed a second major in secondary science education, trained in pedagogy, and taught high school courses while completing her teaching license in the state of Illinois.  Dr. Maneiro also developed a course at Boston College as a postdoc and worked for a year as a lecture-track faculty member at IUPUI before coming to Wheaton.  At Wheaton, Dr. Maneiro teaches core upper-level classes required for the geology major and also loves teaching the introductory class to non-majors.  You can find students in Dr. M’s classes learning through sorting rock layers by age, determining the direction of pollutant flow from a leaky pipe, or working with the department’s extensive hand sample collection.

Dr. Maneiro is also involved in student-led efforts to increase the sustainability of Wheaton’s campus as an adviser to the Wheaton Student Government EVP of Sustainability.  These initiatives have included the establishment of the Wheaton College Garden and efforts to improve recycling and composting on campus.

Boston University
Ph.D., Earth Science (Isotope Geochemistry), 2016

Olivet Nazarene University
B.S., Geology and Science Education, Minor in Biology, 2011

  • Geochronology
  • Metamorphic Petrology
  • Tectonics
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Earth History
  • Science Education

Dr. Maneiro’s teaching responsibilities routinely include Dynamic Earth and Environment, Mineralogy, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, and Structural Geology.  She holds a secondary science teaching license in the state of Illinois and is committed to research-supported pedagogy in the college classroom.  She also leads field excursions for Wheaton College students and helps teach field mapping skills every other summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Courses regularly taught

  • GEOL/ENVR 212 Dynamic Earth and Environment
  • GEOL 343 Mineral Science
  • GEOL 344 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 443 Structural Geology
  • GEOL 412 Field Geology
  • GEOL 395/495 Geoscience Research

Additional courses taught

  • GEOL 321 Earth History
  • GEOL 332 Studies in Regional Geology
  • GEOL 211 Dynamic Earth
  • SCI 311 Theories of Origins

Dr. Kathryn Maneiro is a geochronologist who uses the mineral garnet to determine the age and metamorphic history of some of Earth’s oldest rocks. She has worked on samples from around the globe and currently holds the record for dating the second oldest known garnet in the world in rocks from the Barberton Granite-Greenstone Belt in South Africa. In addition to working on some of Earth’s oldest rocks, Dr. Maneiro developed a method that allows geochronologists to date detrital garnet (garnet that has been eroded and transported away from where it originally grew) for the first time. Please visit Dr. Maneiro’s website for more information about ongoing research projects and opportunities for Wheaton undergraduate research projects or external collaborations.

Highlighted Projects

  • Development and application of an Sm-Nd detrital garnet geochronometer
  • Garnet geochronology in some of Earth’s oldest rocks:
    • Jack Hills of Western Australia
    • Acasta Gneiss Complex in the Canadian Shield
    • Barberton Granite-Greenstone Belt in South Africa
  • The Garnet Age Database: compilation of a database of all published, peer-reviewed garnet geochronology
  • Maneiro, K.A., Jordan, M.K., and Baxter, E.F., Detrital Garnet Geochronology: A New Window into Ancient Tectonics and Sedimentary Provenance, Isotopic Constraints on Earth Systems Science. [Invited chapter in review for an AGU Monograph in honor of Don DePaolo]
  • Maneiro, K.A., Baxter, E.F., Samson, S.D., Marschall, H., and Hietpas, J. 2019, Detrital garnet geochronology: An example from the French Broad River, Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, Geology, 47, 12, 1189-1192.
  • Collings, D., Savov, I., Maneiro, K., Baxter, E., Harvey, J., and Dimitrov, I, 2016, Late Cretaceous UHP metamorphism recorded in kyanite-garnet schists from the Central Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria, Lithos, 246-247, 165-181.