In the Chiu lab, I will explore the molecular and neural circuits that guide animals’ seasonal rhythms. Animals use environmental cues to match their behaviors with the season: As temperatures fall and days grow shorter, birds fly south and fruit flies curtail their reproduction. But little is known about the mechanisms that allow animals to synchronize with the calendar. Recently, Dr. Chiu’s lab reported that, in fruit flies, a protein called EYA may act as a season sensor, its concentration oscillating as summer turns to winter. Now, using an array of cutting-edge techniques in cell and molecular biology, neurogenetics, and genomics, I will identify the molecules that control the seasonal fluctuations of EYA and determine whether any of them are also components of the circadian clock that regulates the flies’ daily rhythms. These findings will broaden our understanding of seasonal biology and could lead to new approaches for treating disorders that display seasonality, including infectious diseases.