About Mosstool

Thank you for your interest in Mosstool. This website has been created as a new and innovative approach to analysing spectroscopy data within a web browser. We are currently exclusively focused on data collected using Moessbauer spectrometry, however we have plans to expand to other techniques in the future.

Our basic goal is to provide a fast and intuitive platform from which users can upload their data, match spectra against previously recorded data and gain a better understanding of the type of minerals which might be present in their sample. We also hope to promote the uptake of Moessbauer spectroscopy, especially in the geo/environmental scientific communities.

The site is still under development, however we hope to incorporate some exciting new updates in the coming months including the ability to fit imported data, and create projects which can be shared with colleagues. We will also continue to update our database, and expand our range of learning material. So please return, and if you have any suggestions for improvement then we are happy to hear from you.

About the Author

James M. Byrne


Research Interests

  • Electron exchange between bacteria and solid phase iron minerals
  • Iron mineral formation in the environment
  • Biogenic magnetite formation by Fe(III)-reducing and Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria
  • Contaminant remediation by redox active mixed valent minerals
  • 57Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Academic History

    Since 2015 Permanent Research Scientist, University of Tuebingen, Germany
    2012-2015 Postdoctoral Scientist, Geomicrobiology, University of Tuebingen, Germany
    2008-2012 PhD Student, Geomicrobiology, University of Manchester, UK
    2004-2008 Undergraduate, Physics, University of St. Andrews, UK



    Thiel, J., Byrne, J.M., Kappler, A., Schink, B., Pester, M. (2019) Pyrite formation from FeS and H2S is mediated through a novel microbial redox activity. PNAS, doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814412116.
    Boylan, A.A., Perez-Mon, C., Guillard, L., Burzan, N., Loreggian, L., Maisch, M., Kappler, A., Byrne, J.M., Bernier-Latmani, R. (2019) H2-fulled microbial metabolism in Opalinus Clay. Applied Clay Science 174, 69-76.
    Koeksoy, E., Sundman, A., Byrne, J.M., Lohmayer, R., Planer-Friedrich, B., Halevy, I., Konhauser, K.O., Kappler, A. (2019) Formation of green rust and elemental sulfur in an analogue for oxygenated ferro-euxinic transition zones of Precambrian oceans. Geology 47, 211-214.


    Bryce, C., Blackwell, N., Schmidt, C., Otte, J., Huang, Y., Kleindienst, S., Tomaszewski, E., Schad, M., Warter, V., Peng, C., Byrne, J. M., Kappler, A. (2018) Microbial anaerobic Fe(II) oxidation – ecology, mechanisms and environmental implications. Environmental Microbiology, 20, 3462-3483.
    ThomasArrigo, L., Byrne, J. M., Kappler, A., Kretzschmar, R. (2018) Impact of organic matter on iron(II)-catalyzed mineral transformations in ferrihydrite-organic matter coprecipitates. Environmental Science and Technology 52, 12316-12326.
    Koeksoy, E., Halama, M., Hagemann, N., Weigold, R.R., Laufer, K., Kleindienst, S., Byrne, J. M., Sundman, A., Hanselmann, K., Halevy, I., Schoenberg, R., Konhauser, K.O., Kappler, A. (2018) A case study for late Archean and Proterozoic biogeochemical iron and sulphur cycling in a modern habitat – the Arvadi Spring. Geobiology 16, 353-368.
    P Yang, P., Byrne, J. M., Yang, M., Drohan, P.J., (2018) Soil magnetism and climatic variation across the Shanxi Loess Plateau, China. Arid Land Research and Management, 1-12
    Bryce, C., Franz-Wachtel, M., Nalpas, N.C., Miot, J., Benzerara, K., Byrne, J. M., Kleindienst, S., Macek, B., Kappler, A. (2018) Proteome response of a metabolically flexible anoxygenic phototroph to Fe(II) oxidation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84, e01166-18.
    Usman, M., Byrne, J. M., Chaudhary, A., Orsetti, S., Hanna, K., Ruby, C., Kappler, A., Haderlein, S. (2018) Magnetite and green rust: synthesis, properties and environmental applications of mixed-valent iron minerals. Chemical Reviews 118, 3251-3304.
    Byrne, J. M., Schmidt, M., Gauger, T., Bryce, C., Kappler, A. (2018). Imaging organic-mineral aggregates formed by Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria using He-Ion Microscopy. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 5, 209-213. Moise S, Byrne J. M., ElHaj A. J., Telling N. D. (2018) The potential of magnetic hyperthermia for triggering the differentiation of cancer cells. Nanoscale 10 (44), 20519-20525


    Byrne, J.M., Kappler, A. (2017) Current and future microbiological strategies to remove As and Cd from drinking water. Microbial Biotechnology, 10, 1098-1101.
    Markovski, C., Lalla, E., Byrne, J.M., Lozano, A.D., Klingelhoefer, G., Rull, F., Kappler, A., Hoffmann, T. (2017) Abiotic versus biotic iron mineral transformation studied by a miniaturized backscattering Mössbauer spectrometer (MIMOS II), X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. Icarus, 296, 49-58
    Sundman, A., Byrne, J.M., Bauer, I., Menguy, N., Kappler, A. (2017) Interactions between magnetite and humic substances: redox reactions and dissolution processes, Geochemical Transactions, 18:6.
    Nordhoff, M., Tominski, C., Halama, M., Byrne, J.M., Obst, M., Kleindienst, S., Behrens, S., Kappler, A. (2017) Insights into nitrate-reducing Fe(II) oxidation mechanisms by analyzing cell-mineral associations, cell encrustation and mineralogy in the chemolithoautotrophic nitrate-reducing Fe(II)-oxidizing enrichment culture KS, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83:e00752-17.
    Laufer, K., Niemeyer, A., Nikeleit, V., Halama, M., Byrne, J.M., Kappler, A. (2017) Physiological characterization of a halotolerant anoxygenic phototrophic Fe(II)-oxidizing green-sulfur bacterium isolated from a marine sediment, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93 (5); doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fix054.
    ThomasArrigo, L., Mikutta, C., Byrne, J., Kappler, A., Kretzschmar, R. (2017) Iron(II)-catalyzed Iron Atom Exchange and Mineralogical Changes in Iron-rich Organic Freshwater Flocs: An Iron Isotope Tracer Study, Environmental Science & Technology, 51, 6897-2907.
    Swanner, E.D., Bayer, T., Wu, W., Hao, L., Obst, M., Sundman, A., Byrne, J., Michel, M.F., Kappler, A., Schoenberg, R. (2017) Iron isotope fractionation during Fe(II) oxidation mediated by the oxygen-producing marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC 7002, Environmental Science and Technology, 51, 4897-4906.
    Moise S., Céspedes E., Soukup D., Byrne J. M., El Haj A. J., Telling N. D, (2017) Biocompatibility and cellular magnetic response of biogenic zinc- and cobalt-doped magnetite nanoparticles, Scientific Reports


    Mehlhorn, J., Byrne, J.M., Kappler, A., Planer-Friedrich, B. (2016) Time and temperature dependency of carbon dioxide triggered metal(loid) mobilization, Applied Geochemistry, 74, 122-137.
    Laufer, K., Byrne, J.M., Glombitza, C., Schmidt, C., Jorgensen, B.B., Kappler, A. (2016) Anaerobic microbial Fe(II) oxidation and Fe(III) reduction in coastal marine sediments controlled by organic carbon content, Environmental Microbiology 18, 3159-3174.
    Byrne, J.M., van der Laan, G., Figueroa, A.I., Qafoku, O., Wang, C., Pearce, C.I., Jackson, M., Feinberg, J., Rosso, K.M., Kappler, A. (2016) Size dependent microbial oxidation and reduction of magnetite nano- and micro-particles, Scientific Reports, 6, 30969.
    Ruecker, A, Schröder, C., Byrne, J., Weigold, P., Behrens, S., & Kappler, A. (2016) Geochemistry and mineralogy of Western Australian salt lake sediments: Implications for Meridiani Planum on Mars, Astrobiology, 16, 525-538.
    Yang. P., Byrne J. M., Yang M., (2016), Spatial variability of soil magnetic susceptibility, organic carbon and total nitrogen from farmland in northern China, Catena 145, 92-98
    Hao, L., Guo, Y., Byrne, J.M., Zeitvogel, F., Schmid, G., Ingino, P., Li, J., Neu, T.R., Swanner, E.D., Kappler, A., Obst, M. (2016). Binding of heavy metal ions in aggregates of microbial cells, EPS and biogenic iron minerals measured in-situ using metal- and glycoconjugates-specific fluorophores, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 180, 66-96.
    Gauger, T., Byrne, J.M., Konhauser, K.O., Obst, M., Crowe, S., Kappler, A. (2016) Influence of organics and silica on Fe(II) oxidation rates and cell-mineral aggregate formation by the green-sulfur Fe(II)-oxidizing bacterium Chlorobium ferrooxidans KoFox - implications for Fe(II) oxidation in ancient oceans, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 443, 81-89.


    Swanner, E.D., Wu, W., Schoenberg, R., Byrne, J., Michel, M., Pan, Y., Kappler, A. (2015) Fractionation of Fe isotopes during Fe(II) oxidation by a marine photoferrotroph is controlled by the formation of organic Fe-complexes and colloidal Fe fractions, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 165, 44-61
    Byrne J. M., Muhamadali H., Coker V. S., Cooper J., Lloyd J. R., (2015) Scale-up of the Production of Highly Reactive Biogenic Magnetite Nanoparticles Using Geobacter sulfurreducens, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 12, 20150240
    Byrne J. M., Klueglein, N., Pearce, C., Rosso K. M., Appel, E., Kappler, A., (2015) Redox cycling of Fe(II) and Fe(III) in magnetite by Fe-metabolizing bacteria, Science, 347, 1473-1476
    Yang P. G., Yang M., Mao R. Z., Byrne J. M., (2015) Impact of Long-Term Irrigation with Treated Sewage on Soil Magnetic Susceptibility and Organic Matter Content in North China, Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 10.1007/s00128-015-1562-0
    Ziganshin, A. M., Ziganshina, E. E., Byrne, J., Gerlach, R., Struve, E., Rodionov, A., Kappler, A. (2015) Fe(III) mineral reduction followed by partial dissolution and reactive oxygen species generation during 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene transformation by the aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, AMB Express, 5, (1), 1-12
    Regenspurg S., Feldbusch E., Byrne J., Deon F., Driba D. L., Henninges J., Kappler A., Naumann R., Reinsch T., Schubert C., (2015) Mineral precipitation during production of geothermal fluid from a Permian Rotliegend reservoir, Geothermics, 54, 122-135
    Nitzsche, K.S., Lan, V. M., Trang, P.T.K., Viet, P.H., Berg, M., Voegelin, A., Planer-Friedrich, B., Zahoransky, Z., Mueller, S.K., Byrne, J.M., Schroeder, C. Behrens, S., Kappler, A., (2015) Arsenic removal from drinking water by a household sand filter – effect of filter usage practices on arsenic removal efficiency and microbiological water quality, Science of the Total Environment, 502, 526-536


    Thomas Arrigo L., Mikutta C., Byrne J., Barmettler K., Kappler A., Kretzschmar R., (2014) Iron and arsenic speciation and distribution in organic flocs from streambeds of an arsenic-enriched peatland, Environmental Science and Technology, 48, (22) 13218-13228
    Céspedes E., Byrne J. M., Farrow N., Moise S., Coker V. S., Bencsik M., Lloyd J. R., Telling N. D., (2014) Bacterially synthesized ferrite nanoparticles for magnetic hyperthermia applications, Nanoscale 6, 12958-12970
    Byrne J. M., Coker V. S., Cespedes E., Wincott P. L., Vaughan D. J., Pattrick R. A. D., van der Laan G., Arenholz E., Tuna F., Bencsik M., Lloyd J. R., Telling N. D., (2014) Biosynthesis of Zinc Substituted Magnetite Nanoparticles with Enhanced Magnetic Properties, Advanced Functional Materials 24 (17), 2518-2529


    Muehe E.M., Obst M., Hitchcock A., Tyliszczak T., Behrens S., Schroeder C., Byrne J. M., Michel F. M., Kraemer U., Kappler A., (2013) Fate of Cd during microbial Fe(III) mineral reduction by a novel and Cd-tolerant Geobacter species, Environmental Science and Technology, 47, 14099-14109.
    Williamson A. J., Morris K., Shaw S., Byrne J. M., Boothman C., Lloyd J. R., (2013) Microbial reduction of Fe (III) under alkaline conditions relevant to geological disposal, Applied and environmental microbiology 79 (11), 3320-3326
    Byrne J. M., Coker V. S., Moise S., Wincott P. L., Vaughan D. J., Tuna F., Arenholz E., van der Laan G., Pattrick R. A. D., Lloyd J. R., Telling N. D., (2013) Controlled cobalt doping in biogenic magnetite nanoparticles, Journal of The Royal Society Interface 10 (83), 20130134


    Coker V. S., Byrne J. M., Telling N. D., van der Laan G., Lloyd J. R., Hitchcock A. P., Wang J., Pattrick R. A. D., (2012) Characterisation of the dissimilatory reduction of Fe (III)‐oxyhydroxide at the microbe–mineral interface: the application of STXM–XMCD, Geobiology 10 (4), 347-354
    Byrne J. M., (2012) PhD Thesis: Biogenic Magnetite Nanoparticles: Development and Optimization for Potential Applications, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK


    Lloyd J. R., Byrne J. M., Coker V.S., (2011) Biotechnological synthesis of functional nanomaterials, Current opinion in biotechnology 22 (4), 509-515
    Byrne J. M., Telling N. D., Coker V. S., Pattrick R. A. D., van der Laan G., Arenholz E., Tuna F., Lloyd J. R., (2011) Control of nanoparticle size, reactivity and magnetic properties during the bioproduction of magnetite by Geobacter sulfurreducens, Nanotechnology 22 (45), 455709