Dr. James Byrne

Permanent Research Scientist (Moessbauer, SEM)

Universität Tübingen

Angewandte Geowissenschaften

Hölderlinstraße 12

72074 Tübingen

Office: Room S515, Hölderlinstr. 12

Phone: +49-(0)7071-29-75496

Email: james.byrnespam

Dr. James M Byrne

Main Research Interests

  • Electron exchange between bacteria and solid phase iron minerals
  • Iron mineral formation in the environment
  • Environmental magnetism
  • Contaminant remediation by redox active mixed valent minerals
  • 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy (
  • Electron Microscopy (

Curriculum vitae

Since 2015

Junior Research Group Leader – University of Tuebingen

Moessbauer, Electron Microscopy

2012 – 2015

Postdoctoral Research Associate – University of Tuebingen

Group of Prof Dr Andreas Kappler

Center for Applied Geoscience (ZAG), Geomicrobiology, Sigwartstrasse 10, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany

2008 – 2012

PhD Student – University of Manchester


Thesis: “Biogenic Magnetite Nanoparticles: Development and Optimization for Potential Applications”

Supervised by Prof Jon Lloyd and Prof Richard Pattrick

School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

2004 – 2008

Physics MPhys – University of St Andrews

School of Physics and Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS, UK



Elected chairperson of Network for Electron microscopy Tuebingen (NET)


University of Tuebingen Program for the Promotion of Junior Researchers

2017 – Present

Elected to the organization committee of Network for Electron microscopy Tuebingen (NET)

2015 – Present

Member of Tübinger Gesellschaft für Angewandte Geowissenschaften (TGAG)

2011 – Present

Member of European Association of Geochemistry (EAG)

2011 – Present

Member of Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland


  • Spectroscopic and microscopic analysis in the environment
  • Mathematics for Applied and Environmental Geoscience



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,

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., 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., 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 JM, ElHaj AJ, Telling ND. (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.

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);

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.

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.

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, in press.

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. 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 (2015) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 165, 44-61

Byrne J. M., Muhamadali H., Coker V. S., Cooper J., Lloyd J. R., Scale-up of the Production of Highly Reactive Biogenic Magnetite Nanoparticles Using Geobacter sulfurreducens (2015) 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


Invited oral presentations

  • Using electron and ion microscopy to reveal the role of iron metabolizing bacteria in biomineralization, 2019, ACS, Orlando, USA
  • Mössbauer Spectroscopy, interactive web tools, Nanoscience in the Earth and Environmental Sciences—Research and Teaching Opportunities Workshop, 2017 Goldschmidt, Paris, France
  • Iron biomineralization by bacteria: Insights into the past and uses for the future, 2017, University of Bayreuth, Germany
  • Using He-Ion microscopy to map the growth and mineralization of twisted stalks by microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria, 2017 Opening ceremony of He-Ion microscopy at LISA+, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Mineral analyses by XRD, Mössbauer spectroscopy and other techniques, 2016, Geomicrobiology Workshop, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Redox cycling of Fe(II) and Fe(III) in magnetite by Fe-metabolizing bacteria, Byrne J. M., Klueglein N., Pearce C., Appel E., Kappler, A., ESSI Research Day ‘Minerals and Organics’ 2014, Leeds, UK
  • Biogeobattery: Redox cycling of FeII and FeIII in magnetite by Fe-metabolizing bacteria, Byrne J. M., Klueglein N., Kappler A., Soil-/Iron Biogeochemistry workshop, 2014, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Biogenic Magnetite Nanoparticles: Development and Optimization, Byrne J. M., Biogeochemistry and Redox Transformations of Iron, 2012, Telluride, USA


  • Abiotic and Microbially Mediated Iron Cycling and its Role in the Environment, Sundman A., Byrne J. M., Etique M., Kretzschmar R., 2016, Goldschmidt, Yokohama, Japan
  • Iron Biogeochemistry in the Environment: From Nanoscale Processes to Macroscopic Observations, Sundman A., Byrne J. M., Lockwood C., Muehe E., 2015, Goldschmidt, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Biogeochemistry, Picard A., Byrne J. M., 2014, Goldschmidt, Florence, Italy
  • Physical, Chemical, and Biologic Processes near the Earth's surface, Picard A., Swanner E., Byrne J. M., 2013, DMG/GV: Geofluids: Lubricants of the Dynamic Earth, Tuebingen, Germany

Selected Press Releases


Peer Reviewer for Scientific Journals

  • American Mineralogist
  • Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T)
  • Geobiology
  • Journal of Geophysical Research
  • Mineralogical Magazine
  • RSC Nanoscale
  • SciTechnol