Jose Ignacio del Real-Laborde, a doctoral student in plant science at Utah State University, has won the top scientific paper award at the Pacific Division meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The meetings were held in June at Oregon State University, Corvallis.The association's Laurence M. Klauber Award for Excellence is given in recognition of a student presentation judged most significant toward the advancement of science. The award carries $300 and a certificate.

Real-Laborde's presentation also won first place in the competition of the Western Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

His work illustrates processes involved in winter chilling that are required for apple bud opening and seed germination. It contributes to knowledge of basic principles involved in plant dormancy, as well as to the management of deciduous temperate zone fruit trees grown at a variety of latitudes.

"We have models for cold requirements that work in cold parts of the country," he said, "but as you go farther south, they don't work. I've been interested in why they don't work, and in adapting the models to predict bud break."

Co-authors are J. L. Anderson and S. D. Seeley, professors of plant science at USU.

Real-Laborde, who received his undergraduate degree from the Universidad Autonomo Agraria Antonio Narro in Saltillo, Mexico and has worked for Mexico's equivalent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will return to Mexico as a fruit production specialist upon completion of his Ph.D. at USU.