Kosten’s research focuses on fluxes of greenhouse gases in surface waters. She investigates both natural (e.g. lakes and rivers) and human-made aquatic systems (e.g. aquaculture ponds and ditches). Waters emit much more greenhouse gases than is often thought. For example, ditches are estimated to be responsible for around 15 percent of methane emissions in the Netherlands. Very soon, countries will therefore have to include greenhouse gas emissions from their surface waters in their national greenhouse gas emission reports.
Kosten studies the effects of climate change on ecology and water quality. She also aims to apply this knowledge to assess mitigations measures that should combat greenhouse gas emissions from surface waters, in order to develop appropriate measures in the future.
About Sarian Kosten
Sarian Kosten (Oostburg, 1975) studied Environmental Science at Wageningen University & Research. She specialized in aquatic ecology and water quality management and took a minor in communication sciences. She obtained her PhD in 2002 with the dissertation “Aquatic ecosystems in hot water: effects of climate on the functioning of shallow lakes”, which focused on the effect of climate on lake ecosystems in South American lakes between the equator and Tierra del Fuego. One of her main findings was that CO₂ emissions from lakes increase with temperature.
After her PhD Kosten worked as a postdoc-researcher in Germany, after which she received a Veni grant and started her research on climate effects on carbon emissions from shallow lakes at Radboud University and NIOO-KNAW. Her work contributed to the understanding that aquatic greenhouse emissions are relevant on a global scale and strongly impacted by anthropogenic stressors including climate change and eutrophication.
In 2021 Kosten received a Vidi grant for research on “Bioturbators drive greenhouse gas emissions from shallow inland waters”. In 2023 she was honored with the Kilham Memorial Award from the International Society of Limnology (SIL) as a recognition of her work on the interface of aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry, particularly in South America.