Coker UniversityDirectoryJennifer Raia, Ph.D.
Jennifer Raia, Ph.D.

Jennifer Raia, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Honors Program, Chair of Science and Mathematics, and Coordinator of the Environmental Studies Minor

  • Ph.D., Utah State University
  • M.S., Utah State University
  • B.S., Auburn University

“From the start, I knew I wanted to study behavioral ecology, and I sought out undergrad research opportunities. This work led me to study flying squirrels and red-cockaded woodpeckers in Georgia, ducks in North Dakota, and now coyotes here. I chose Coker because the faculty values undergraduate research as much as I do. Student research provides experience in designing experiments, methodologies, statistical techniques, and scientific writing. My research focuses on animal behavior, and I will always make room for motivated students.”

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

I believe student-driven research is the best way to prepare biology students for their future careers. Research provides experience in designing experiments, field-biology methodologies, statistical techniques, and scientific writing. My research interests focus on animal behavior and the interaction between individuals. I have studied flying squirrels and red-cockaded woodpeckers in Georgia, ducks and their nest predators in North Dakota, and grouse and their nest predators in Utah. Since arriving at Coker University, I began a research program that primarily focuses on factors influencing nest predation rates. While I have only just begun setting up my research program here, I have already gotten several students involved in extracurricular research. Funding through the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program has allowed my students to conduct research on the effect of human use of areas on nest depredation and on coyote diet selection (potential nest predators).

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS:

  • Stryker, T, Borgo, JS, Godbout, K, Oliver, K. 2015. Coyote diet at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge: Implications for deer recruitment. Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Conference, Chattanooga, TN (poster)
  • Oliver, K, Borgo, JS, McCarthey Tyrrell, J. 2014. Bacterial growth inhibition ability of uropygial gland secretions of passerines based on foraging behaviors. Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Conference, Chattanooga, TN (poster)
  • Oliver, K. 2015 Bacterial Growth Inhibition Ability of Uropygial Gland Secretions of Passerines Based on Foraging Behaviors. Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium (oral)
  • Stryker, T. 2015. Coyote Diet at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge: Implications for Deer Recruitment. Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium (oral)
  • Hughes, M, Borgo, JS. 2013. Occurrence of intestinal parasites in coyotes found in South Carolina. Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities held at Greer, SC. (Poster)
  • Oliver, K, Hughes, M, DeLancy, E, Reid, R, Borgo, JS. 2013. Herpetofaunal composition at Kalmia Gardens of Coker University. Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in Charleston, WV. (Poster)
  • Hughes, M, Borgo, JS. 2012. Research in Progress: Occurrence of intestinal parasites in coyotes found in South Carolina. Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Portland, OR. (Poster)
  • Hughes, M, Rhodes, S, Singleton, C, Davidson, H, Curtis, J, and Borgo, JS. 2012. Coyote Diet at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge. Annual Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Hartsville, SC. (Poster) Winner of Best Poster Presentation.
  • Rhodes, S, and Borgo, JS. 2012. Seasonal variations in diet of coyotes at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge. Annual Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Hartsville, SC. (Oral) Winner of Best Oral Presentation.
  • Rhodes, S, Hayes, E, and Borgo, JS. 2012. Seasonal variations in diet of coyotes at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge. Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in Athens, GA. (Poster)
  • Rhodes, S, and Borgo, JS. 2012. Seasonal variations in diet of coyotes at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge. Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities held at Greer, SC. (Oral)
  • Bevill, K, Wallett, W, Phillips, B, Schmotzer, S, Ashford, S, Borgo, JS. 2011. Herpetofaunal Composition at Kalmia Gardens of Coker University. Annual Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Hartsville, SC. (Poster)
  • Hayes, E, Borgo, JS. 2011. Coyote diet at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge. Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities held at Greer, SC. (Poster)
  • Wallett, W, Borgo, JS. 2010. The impact of human presence on the rate of artificial nest depredation. Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities held at Greer, SC. (Oral)
  • English, K, Borgo, JS. 2010. Observations of behavioral differences between fox squirrels and gray squirrels. Annual Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Hartsville, SC. (Oral)
  • Warner, A, Borgo, JS. 2010. The relationship between the number of horses in a group and their vigilance behavior. Annual Coker University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Hartsville, SC. (Oral)

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS:

  • Frey, S. N., M. R. Conover, J. S. Borgo, and T. A. Messmer. 2003. Factors influencing pheasant hunter harvest and satisfaction. Human Dimensions in Wildlife 8: 275-284.
  • Borgo, J. S., L. M. Conner, and M. R. Conover. 2006. Role of predator odor in roost site selection of southern flying squirrels. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:144-149.
  • Borgo, J. S., M. R. Conover, and L. M. Conner. 2006. Nest boxes reduce flying squirrel use of red-cockaded woodpecker cavities. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:171-176.
  • Borgo, J.S., and M.R. Conover. 2009. A device to record the specific time an artificial nest is depredated. Human-Wildlife Conflicts 3:88-92.
  • Conover, M. R., and J. S. Borgo. 2009. Do sharp-tailed grouse select loafing sites to avoid olfactory or visual predators? Journal of Wildlife Management 73:242-247.
  • Borgo, J. S., M. R. Conover, and L. M. Conner. 2010. Flying squirrel removal does not reduce their use of simulated red-cockaded woodpecker nest clusters. Southeastern Naturalist 9:813-820.
  • Conover, M. R., J. S. Borgo, and D. K. Dahlgren. 2010. Greater sage-grouse select nest sites to avoid visual predators but not olfactory predators. Condor 112:331-336.
  • Borgo, J.S., and M.R. Conover. 2015. Spatio-Temporal Patterns in the Depredation of Waterfowl Nests and Simulated Nests in the Prairie Pothole Region, USA. Waterbirds 38(2): 133-142
  • Borgo, J.S., and M.R. Conover. 2016. Influence of Shelterbelts on Success and Density of Waterfowl Nests within the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Waterbirds 39(1): 74-80.
  • Borgo, J.S., and M.R. Conover. 2016. Visual and olfactory concealment on duck nests: influence on nest site selection and success. Human-Wildlife Interactions 10(1): Article 14.