“GOLA lays the foundation for cutting edge research, innovation and creative thought for Ohio faculty, students and industry professionals in the pursuit of developing environmentally responsible and ecologically productive cities.”

— Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., Kent State’s vice president for research & sponsored programs.

Steering Committee


In one of the country’s most pivotal and productive economies, faculty in the State of Ohio, with their respective academic resources, collaborate to provide a regional environment for the study, investigation, innovation, and development of pedagogy, design, research, policy, and outreach of living architecture. GOLA center creates a gateway for interested people to connect to the fields of living architecture and green infrastructure.


International Designation

In 2018 GOLA was designated as a Regional Center of Excellence by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation offering advanced training and partnership opportunities to share and develop collaborative resources for advocacy, pedagogy, and research for living architecture and green infrastructure.

Associate Faculty

Kent State University
Dr. Christie Bahlai, Assistant Professor | Biology, Ecology and Data Science
Dr. Christopher Blackwood, Professor | Biology, Ecology, Soils, Microbiology
Dr. Reid Coffman, Associate Professor | Living Architecture, Vegetative Roofs, Design
Diane Davis-Sikora, Associate Professor | Architecture, Studio Design
John Gerrath, Adjunct Professor | Biology, Plant Ecology
Dr. Anne Jefferson, Associate Professor | Urban Hydrology
Dr. Rui Lui, Assistant Professor  | Architecture, Structural Design
Dr. Adil Sharag-Eldin, Associate Professor | Architecture, Energy and Climate
Greg Stroh, Associate Professor | Architecture, Studio Design/Fabrication

University of Cincinnati
Dr. Pravin Bhiwapurkar, Assistant Professor | Architecture, Urban Climate & Building Sci.
Dr. Ishi Buffam, Assistant Professor | Biological Sciences, Ecology, Biogeochemistry
Dr. Theresa Culley, Professor | Biological Sciences, Plant Eco and Genetics
Barry Kew, ASLA, Associate Professor   | Vegetated Roofs/Walls Performance Eval.
Dr. David Lentz, Professor | Biological Sciences, Paleoecologist, Paleoethnobotany
Dr. Mingming Lu, Assistant Professor  | Environmental Engineering, Growing Media
Virginia Russell, Professor | Landscape Architecture, Living Architecture, Design

Heidelberg University
Dr. Amy Berger, Professor | Hydrology, Soils
Dr. Laura Johnson, Director National Ctr for Water Quality Research | Water Quality 
Dr. Mark Mitchell, Assistant Professor | Ecology, Environmental sustainability, Nutrient cycling

Combined the 19 faculty offer 117 hours of living architecture classroom instruction through 32 different courses.