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Collage of New Animal Science Faculty Members

Animal Science Program Welcomes Three Faculty Members

COBLESKILL, NY – SUNY Cobleskill is proud to announce the addition of three Animal Science professors to its faculty, each bringing a wealth of diverse expertise to the College. New instructors Laura Adams, Benjamin Duran, and Leigha Latourette have each stepped into their roles for the Fall 2023 semester, supporting agriculture-focused Animal Science education and research.

Pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science with a focus on Reproduction and Development at Utah State University, Adams’ commitment to research is evident through numerous publications and presentations, including an awarded oral presentation on “Degrees of Heteroplasmy in iSCNT Embryos” and a published manuscript titled “Use of bisection to reduce mitochondrial DNA in the bovine oocyte.” Her laboratory research experience ranges from cryopreserving cells to parthenogenetic activation of mammalian oocytes (immature egg cells in animal ovaries).

Laura Adams

Benjamin Duran, currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Animal Science at The Ohio State University, is a dedicated researcher and educator with expertise spanning reproductive physiology and teaching. With a Master of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Duran’s academic journey underscores his passion for the field. His research portfolio includes investigations into various reproductive processes in beef cattle, sheep, and dairy cattle. Duran’s doctoral dissertation delves into the maintenance of the corpus luteum during the second month of gestation in ruminants.

Benjamin Duran

Dr. Leigha Latourette, a SUNY Cobleskill alum, holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. Her educational journey includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from SUNY Cobleskill, along with minors in English and Chemistry. Dr. Latourette’s professional experience has seen her serve as a Large Animal Student Technician at Cornell University Hospital for Animals, where she demonstrated a commitment to quality care and to internships promoting veterinary research. Dr. Latourette captained the SUNY Cobleskill Women’s Soccer Team during her undergraduate years and excelled in various organizations such as the Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society and the Livestock Judging Team.

Dr. Leigha Latourette

“The addition of three new Animal Science faculty members marks a significant stride in enhancing our program’s expertise and research capabilities, and all three bring fresh perspectives and knowledge that will undoubtably benefit our students,” said Animal Science Department Chair Dr. Ben Weikert. “We’re thrilled to have them with animal science, s to guide the next generation of ethical and sustainability-minded animal industry professionals.”

For more information about SUNY Cobleskill’s Animal Science program offerings, visit



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