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Claire Gizowski is investigating how the brain generates circadian rhythms. With complex physiology and optogenetic experiments (sometimes performed at odd hours), she discovered that hypothalamic clock neurons become electrically active before sleep and excite neurons causing thirst via vasopressin, a peptide neurotransmitter. The resultant behaviour, “anticipatory thirst,” motivates water intake that prevents overnight dehydration. Published in Nature, her outstanding work has led to national and international awards and on home ground, the first annual Carbonetto Prize.