The Department of Biological Sciences

Ken A. Aho, Ph.D.

(208) 282-3391
Room 419
Gale Life Sciences

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2006.  Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains.

2007.  M.S. in Environmental and Ecological Statistics, Department of Mathematics, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

1995.  B.S. in Biological Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID.


BIOL 2209 Ecology (Fall)
BIOL 3316 Biometry (Fall & Spring)
BIOL 4408 Plant ecology (Odd Spring)
BIOL 5581 Independent problems (Fall & Spring)
BIOL 6692 Introduction to R (Fall)

Research Interests

One of my strongest interests is the use of statistical tools to facilitate good science.  My research in this area has resulted in new approaches for both finding the correct number of plant communities in a landscape, and modeling optimal environments of native plant communities to aid in reclamation.  

I have worked primarily in alpine, subalpine and montane ecosystems examining community-level phenomena.  This includes work describing the alpine plant communities ofthe Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains.  For example, I have recently completed a study to determine the effect of exotic mountain goats on native alpine vegetation in Yellowstone National Park. A video describing this work can be found here.  More recently I have become involved with the plant-parasite relations of pine trees.   

I currently have two graduate students.  Ehren Moler is creating susceptibility models for whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) with respect to blister rust infection, and Roy Hill is studying population genetics of lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum) in Southeastern Idaho.  

I have created an R package asbio (applied statistics for biologists) which contains hundered of functions for statistical pedagogy and biological research. Asbio serves as a software companion to my book: Foundational and Applied Statistics for Biologists Using R.