Aho lab

Office: LS 419, Phone: (208)-282-3391, email: ahoken@isu.edu

Alpine ecology

Much of my research of the last 15 years (as a graduate student and faculty member) has concerned alpine ecology. This includes the use of classic methods in plant synecology and autecology, and the examination of the effect of invasive mountain goats (Oreomnos americanus) on the alpine vegetation of Absaroka-Beartooth mountains.

Alpine study sites in the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains. (L to R) E. face of Cutoff Pk., looking NW from the summit of the Thunderer, looking NW from the summit of Mineral Pk., and looking S from the summit plateau of Amphitheatre Pk (photos: S. Contor, 2008-2009).


Whitebark pine endophytic ecology

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), a species of treeline environments in the Western US, is in rapid decline due in part to the exotic fungal pathogen whitebark pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola).  Ehren Moler recently completed an MS project to  to ascertain the effect of native endophytic (within-leaf) fungal community structure, and community assembly on C. ribicola infection. 

Figs (left). Whitebark pine study sites in the mountains of South-Central Oregon. (L to R) Parent trees representing a specific type of genetic vulnerability to blister rust infection, view of Crater Lake from Watchman's Peak along the caldera rim (photos: E. Moler, 2013).

Fig (right).  The figure shows Certhomas Tan and Connor Newman at the top Bonneville Peak near Pocatello, ID, collecting limber pine (P. flexilis) needles.  P. flexilis is a close relative of P. albicaulis (photo: K. Aho).


Dwarf mistletoe population ecology

Lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum), is an obligate parasite of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). The patterns of genetic variation within A. americanum populations are largely unexplored, and of interest because of the poor gene flow characteristics of the species, due to limited dispersal abilities, and specificity to P. contorta (which itself is limited to montane islands). Roy Hill recently completed an MS project exploring the genetic diversity and phylogeny A. americanum populations using microsatellite markers developed specifically for this species.

The R computational environment

R is a computer language and an open source environment for statistics, data management, computation and graphics.  Documentation and software can be downloaded for free here


Asbio (applied statistics for biologists) is an R package that contains functions for statistical pedagogy and biological research. Of particular interest are hundreds of graphical functions for depicting statistical concepts, many with interactive GUIs.  Asbio also serves as a software companion to a biostatistical textbook I am completing: "Foundational and Applied Statistics for Biologists Using R".  Developmental versions of the software for Windows and Unix/Linux can be found in the table below.  Bolded versions are available at the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN).  I generally clean out versions older than the newest CRAN release since CRAN archives these. 

MAC OS X users please use the newest R, and download the most recent version of XQuartz to allow implementation of tcltk GUIs.  Open XQuartz before using asbio.


   Windows  Linux/Unix-alike  Macintosh  Release date

 asbio 1.3-4
 asbio 1.3-4.zip
 asbio 1.3-4.tar
 asbio 1.3-4.tgz 7/20/2016
 asbio 1.3-3
 asbio 1.3-3.zip
 asbio 1.3-3.tar
 NA 5/31/2016
 asbio 1.2-5
 asbio 1.2-5.zip
 asbio 1.2-5.tar
 asbio 1.2-5.tgz 9/16/2015
 asbio 1.1-5
 asbio 1.1-5.zip
 asbio 1.1-5.tar
 asbio 1.1-5.tgz 2/10/2015
 asbio 1.1-4
 asbio 1.1-4.zip
 asbio 1.1-4.tar
 asbio 1.1-3
 asbio 1.1-3.zip
 asbio 1.1-3.tar
 asbio 1.1-2
 asbio 1.1-2.zip
 asbio 1.1-2.tar
 asbio 1.1-1
 asbio 1.1-1.zip
 asbio 1.1-1.tar
asbio 1.1-1.tgz  9/6/2014
 asbio 1.0-5
 asbio 1.0-5.zip
 asbio 1.0-5.tar
asbio 1.0-5.tgz  5/13/2014

Zipped or tarballed folders can be unzipped directly into an R "library" folder, or a personal user R-library folder. Note that asbio >= 0.3-43 requires R >= 2.15.1.  Note also that asbio requires tcltk, and imports functions from a number of packages (see the CRAN asbio html)  These packages and functions will be downloaded with a download of asbio from CRAN. 


This is a stripped down package containing functions for plant community ecology. It is only available at this website.  The package requires plotrix, mvtnorm, and vegan.


   Windows  Linux/Unix-alike  Macintosh  Release date
plant.ecol 0.5-1
 plant.ecol 0.5-1.zip plant.ecol 0.5-1.tar.gz plant.ecol 0.5-1.tgz 4/20/2017
plant.ecol 0.5  plant.ecol 0.5.zip plant.ecol_0.5.tar.gz  plant.ecol_0.5.tgz  1/16/2017
plant.ecol 0.4-1  plant.ecol 0.4-1.zip  plant.ecol 0.4-1.tar.gz  NA  4/21/2015
plant.ecol 0.3   plant.ecol 0.3.zip  plant.ecol 0.3.tar  NA 10/17/13

Biostatistical consulting

      In vivo intestinal and placental transfer of carbamazepine at typical environmental concentrations from drinking water to the developing fetus brain