William Manton

Professor - Geosciences
Tags: tracing lead pollution in the environment isotope ratios mobilization of lead from skeleton during pregnancy and lactation geological and geochronological studies in Central America

Professional Preparation

University of the Witwatersrand - 1968
University of the Witwatersrand - 1963
(Hons.) University of the Witwatersrand - 1960

Research Areas

Research Interests

Tracing lead pollution in the environment by means of isotope ratios. Mobilization of lead from the skeleton during pregnancy, lactation, and across the menopause. Lead poisoning from gunshot wounds. Relationship between the concentration of lead in blood plasma and erythrocytes.

Bioavailability of lead in soil.

Geological, and especially geochronological, studies in Central America.


Manton, W.I. Separation of lead from young zircons by single bead ion exchange. Chemical Geology (Isotope Geoscience Section), 73, 145-152, 1988. 1988 - Publication
Manton, W.l., Tectonic interpretation of the principal morphologic features of Honduras. Tectonics, 6, 633-651, 1987. 1987 - Publication
Stern, R.J. and W.I. Manton. Age of Feiran basement rocks, Sinai: Implications for late Precambrian crustal evolution in northern Afro-Arabian shield. Journal of the Geological Society London, 144, 569-575, 1987. 1987 - Publication
Grew, E.S. and W.I. Manton. A new correlation of sapphirine granulites in the Indo-Antarctic metamorphic terrain: Late Proterozoic dates from the Eastern Ghats of India. Precambrian Res., 33, 123-137, 1986. 1986 - Publication
MacGregor, I.D. and W.I. Manton. Roberts Victor eclogites: ancient oceanic crust. Journal of Geophysical Research, 91, 14,063-14,079, 1986. 1986 - Publication


University of Texas at Dallas [1989–Present]
Associate Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [1973–1989]
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [1967–1973]
Research Scientist
The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies [1965–1967]
Research student
Bemard Price Institute of Geophysical Research [1962–1964]
Graduate Student
Vredefort Ring, South Africa [1961–1962]
Junior Geologist
Namwala Concession Ltd., Livingstone, N. Rhodesia (Zambia) [1958–1961]
Research Associate
The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (now The University of Texas at Dallas) [8–1965]


50 Years of Service Award - [2015]

Additional Information

Professional History
W. I. Manton was educated in England and South Africa. In 1955 he entered the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he majored in Physics and Geology, obtained an Honours degree in Mineralogy and Petrology, and completed research for a Master's degree in structural geology. In 1962 he began doctoral research at that Universitys Bemard Price Institute of Geophysical Research and used what was then the new technique of strontitun isotope ratios to address the origin of a suite of associated basalts and rhyolites. In 1972 at the University of Texas at Dallas he began working on the problem of the contribution of lead from gasoline to lead in blood. The isotopic teclmiques proved so insightful that he continued working in the field of biomedical research - measuring the baseline concentrations of lead and zinc in tissue by stable isotope dilution; using variations in lead isotope ratios to determine how children acquire lead; exploiting the long residence of lead in bone to study conditions, such as pregnancy, under which thc skeleton may be resorbed; and carrying out animal studies on lead poisoning from retained bullets. He has, however, maintained an interest in conventional geochronology, collaborating with a number of investigators working in Antarctica, Africa and India. His current interests include: using lead isotopes to investigate the resorption of the skeleton across the menopause; the origin of lead in cocoa and chocolate; and, with a view to determining their availability to plants, the distribution of lead and rare earth elements in the various components of soil.
Honors and Awards
  • 1987. Senior Research Fellow, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Republic of South Africa.
  • 1999. Shared Best Paper Award for the best paper in Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 1997.