Eliza Gonzalez is an undergraduate at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) majoring in Biomedical Informatics. She was born and raised in New York City (more specifically, the Lower East Side of Manhattan), but her parents are originally from Puerto Rico. Growing up she always enjoyed science, but it wasn’t until a few semesters had gone by that she realized biology was something she really wanted to pursue. Once Eliza receives her Bachelor’s Degree, she wants to continue on to graduate school, but, at this time, she is still contemplating what area of study she would like to focus on. Eliza only recently joined Dr. Brugler’s deep-sea evolutionary biology lab at the American Museum of Natural History. In fact, her primary project has nothing to do with black corals; rather, she is using DNA barcoding to reveal the identity of a hot pepper variety called “Caribbean seasoning pepper”, “Trinidad Pimento” or “vegetarian hot pepper.” Eliza is very excited about participating in her first research cruise and learning more about mesophotic black corals, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.