HBU Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
HBU Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (HBU TriBeta) is a national honor society dedicated to students who are interested in understanding and promoting the biological sciences. TriBeta supports the HBU Biology Club, which is open to all students who possess an interest in biology and have taken a biology course at HBU.
Biology Club and TriBeta conduct biological research, participate in community service events, and take field trips to biologically relevant activities, such as the Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and The Health Museum. We invite guest speakers, including our own HBU TriBeta alumni, to discuss research opportunities and various biologically related careers. HBU TriBeta members are also encouraged to publish their research in the Beta Beta Beta journal, BIOS.
TriBeta members are involved in various research projects.
- We use genetic and molecular tools to test for the presence of the “brain-eating” amoeba, Naegleria fowleri in freshwater lakes around Texas. This amoebic infection rapidly causes neurodegeneration and death likely occurs within weeks of the infection. Even though fowleri infections are rare across the U.S., they occur more commonly in warmer states like Texas. Currently, there are no quick ways to detect the amoeba. Thus, we hope to develop a method using PCR to quickly detect N. fowleri and help increase awareness of the deadly disease.
- We are examining the ability of superworms, Zophobas morio, to degrade polysytrene. In addition to their role as a food source for insectivorous animals, such as reptiles and birds, superworms may also play a role in biodegradation. Mealworms can degrade polystyrene, and we are examining if the closely related superworms can do so more efficiently.
Each year, our students attend the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society South Central Regional Convention. At this convention, students have the opportunity to publish an abstract of their research, present their work, and compete for awards. In 2016, TriBeta won HBU’s Organization of the Year. At the 2017 Beta Beta Beta South Central Regional Convention, TriBeta won Outstanding Chapter in District 2, 1st Place in Chapter History, and 1st place in Poster Presentation. In 2016, we also won Outstanding Chapter in District 2, 1st Place in Chapter History, 1st and 2nd place in Poster Presentation and 2nd place in Oral Presentation We previously won 2nd place in Chapter History in 2015 and 2014 and 2nd place for Outstanding Chapter in 2013.
Students who have at least a “B” in BIOL 2454 (General Biology I), BIOL 2455 (General Biology II), and BIOL 3301 (Cell & Molecular Biology) and have completed at least three semesters at HBU, are encouraged to apply for national membership. Membership is based on meeting the above requirements, as well as participation in Biology Club and service to the HBU Biology Department. TriBeta applications are accepted each Spring semester. Applications are due by February 1 to Dr. Agnieszka Czopik or Dr. Lisa Ellis. Officer applications are due in April for the next school year.
Biology Club applications are accepted throughout the academic year.