Our Experts

Laura Harkness

Ph.D., RD, FACN

Dr. Harkness is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a PhD in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University. She leads Global Research & Development for Health & Wellbeing and Personal Care at Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the maker of vitafusion and L’il Critters #1 gummy vitamin brands. She is a nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the field and is passionate about food and nutrition. Dr. Harkness specializes in health and wellness innovation, nutrition research, and communication.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Harkness was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland with a research focus on nutrients that are important in bone health. In addition, her career in science and clinical care has encompassed research and providing care for patients in adult and pediatric intensive care, adolescent medicine, gastroenterology, and surgical units.

She is currently an active member of several professional organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Society of Nutrition, ILSI, and Council for Responsible Nutrition.

In her free time, Dr. Harkness enjoys cooking and running. She is a long time runner and marathoner.

Cem Akin

Arborist

Cem Akin serves as executive director and programs founder of the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, having created charitable programs and planted thousands of trees on five continents—in jungles, deserts, and in between. With degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, including a master of science in public policy and management, his career in the nonprofit sector has resulted in precedent-setting policy changes and direct benefits for communities in the fields of environmental and animal protection. Learning tree skills from some of the best arborists in the world, Cem co-authored the Home Orchard Handbook, one of the first organic, animal-friendly fruit tree care manuals in print. When he's not planting trees, Cem enjoys exploring new landscapes with a camera and some camping gear, and an occasional surfboard.


Learning tree skills from some of the best arborists in the world, Cem co-authored the Home Orchard Handbook, one of the first organic, animal-friendly fruit tree care manuals in print. When he's not planting trees, Cem enjoys exploring new landscapes with a camera and some camping gear, and an occasional surfboard.


Co-Author:

The Home Orchard Handbook: A Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruit Trees Anywhere (Backyard Series).