Erwin graduated from Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in General Biology. Since then, he spent 11 years helping rescued and confiscated animal have chance to go back into the wild. One his finest achievements is his involvement in leading the rehabilitation and release of an injured Javan leopard in Banten. This was the very first case of an injured leopard that was released back into the wild in Indonesia. He also worked as the Head Keeper at the The Aspinall Foundation’s Javan Primate Rehabilitation Center in 2012.
In 2013 he began an individual project to study the Javan leopard in several site in West Java, supported by The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MbZSCF), and also assisted the Natural Resources Conservation Agency – Ministry of Environment and Forestry with the human-leopard conflict. With Agung Kusumanto he formed a Javan Leopard Focus Group to facilitate a small research project with students and people who are concerned about the plight of the species.
He joined Sumatran Tiger Conservation Forum (Forum HarimauKita/FHK) in 2014 as a Project Coordinator and led the FHK team to accomplish the UNDP Global Environmental Finance Small Grants Project “Transforming effectiveness of Biodiversity Conservation in Sumatran Priority Landscapes”. Currently, FHK is running the second phase of this project.
For the last 3 years he started to focus on the rarest small cat in Asia, the Javan fishing cat. He runs a fishing cat survey on the sidelines of his life in FHK with support by MbSCF (2016) and the Fishing Cat Fund (2018). Although up till now, he has not had a positive result about the existence of the species in Java. Even so, he continues to search every habitat patches that predicted to be suitable for the fishing cat.
Erwin is also aware that a single movement, nor even a small group cannot give significant influence for conservation – especially in Java. So he created a public scientist movement on social media that focused on Indonesian mammals, Mamalia Indonesia. He also encourages young scientists and fresh graduate students to gather in one vision and movement for conservation through the group Tambora Muda, where he became Board Advisory.