At the end of first-year, Inka Veltheim found herself enrolling in zoology rather than her other area of interest, geology. Inka completed a mixture of 3rd year zoology and botany subjects over two years, and decided to apply for honours.
"The first time I applied for Honours, I was unsuccessful. There was the possibility of doing a physiology based project, but I am more interested in ecology, so I decided to wait."
In 1999, Inka reapplied for honours at Melbourne. She commenced mid-year honours, supervised by Graeme Coulson and Kath Handasyde. Inka's honours year had lots of ups and downs, but was ultimately very productive.
Her original project, on foraging patterns and microhabitat use of the Long-nosed potoroo, changed substantially throughout the year. Inka encountered several problems in tracking potoroos with spools of cotton, and in her methods of vegetation mapping and analyses.
Inka also spent a lot of time working at the Biomedical Library, and as a drummer in the punk band, Gofukuya. During her honours, the band recorded a demo, and even had one of their tracks included on a Rock n Roll High School compilation CD.
At the end of her honours, despite all her other interests, and the load of earning a wage, Inka was very happy with her thesis. She hopes her project will contribute to the conservation and management of the Long-nosed potoroo by assisting in the development of a habitat suitability model.