After finished his Master of Science (1986) and Doctorate degree (1991) from the University of New Mexico, USA, plus pre- and post-doctoral at Columbia University in New York, he serves as senior lecturer at the Department of Biology, University of Indonesia. He also served as Director of Biodiversity and Conservation Studies, Coordinator of Graduate Program on Conservation Biology at the same university from 1992-1996. He also became a chief editor of Tropical Biodiversity since 1992, editor of Asia Primate Journal (2008), Board of editor of the International Journal of Wildlife Policy and Law, board of editor of Tropical Conservation Science, consulting editor of Biosphere Conservation and recently in 2012 selected as board of editor of IUCN Journal “Parks”. He was also board of advisor of Earthwatch Institute (2002-2006) and board member of Biodiversity and Development Foundation (1998-2004) and in 2010 as an alternate member of board of director of Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He teaches many courses including Tropical Ecology, Restoration Ecosystem, Conservation Biology, Biogeography, Biodiversity Policy and Management, Bio-anthropology, Animal Behavior in undergraduate and graduate programs at the Department of Biology, University of Indonesia. He has supervised more than 20 doctoral and 50 master degrees in conservation biology and environmental science at the University of Indonesia. He also supervised master and doctoral theses at Bogor Agriculture University, Andalas University and abroad such as from the University of Kebangsaan Malaysia, Australia National University, Lousiana State University, University of New Mexico and Columbia University in New York which mostly are related to forest biodiversity policy and forest conservation.
In 1999-2006, he served as chairman of Indonesia Biologist Association, Jakarta Chapter. In 2006, he was elected as president of South East Asia Primatologist Association, and in 2007 assigned as co-chairman of World Conservation Union-SSC PSG South East Asia. He has also been an active member of several international organizations: IUCN-World Conservation of Protected Area, IUCN-specialist Survival Commission-Primate Specialist Group, International Primatological Society, Society for Conservation Biologist and many others.
He served several assignments at the government of Indonesia taskforces and commissions; member of National Research Council (Dewan Riset Nasional) in 1999-2004, member of steering committee on Biodiversity Action Plan at the Ministry of Planning (BAPPENAS), chairman of Biodiversity Taskforce at Ministry of Research and Technology (2001-2003), member of Ministry of Forestry Task force to review logging concessions in Indonesia (2003-2005). He was assigned by government of Indonesia to be a member of Indonesia government delegation to many conferences such as Convention of Biological Diversity, World Conservation Union-IUCN meeting, World Park Congress, UNFCCC and its SUBSTTA (Bali, Cairns, Bonn, Bangkok, Nairobi) and UN Forest Forum in New York. He is recently active in climate change especially on REDD+ policy and implementation.
He served as country director for Conservation International for Indonesia Program since 1994, and become executive director then appointed as Regional Vice President for Indonesia from 2005 to 2010, carries the distinction of being the first Indonesian in the country to head up a conservation program for a major international organization. For more than 15 years directing Conservation International (CI) in Indonesia, he has brought CI to be one of the most distinctive international NGO based on scientific approched in conservation works in Indonesia. He retired from CI and since January 2011 to date, he become chairman of Research Center for Climate Change of the University of Indonesia, a co-director of the Association of Pacific Rim University (APRU based in the National University of Singapore) of CMAS (Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategy) based in the University of San Diego, USA. In 2011, he was appointed by president of Indonesia to be a member of Indonesia Academy of Science. In 2014, he was selected to be member of board of trustee University of Indonesia. At the same year, he was appointed to be member of board of trustee of Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund by Minister of Planning.
His significant finding during his long standing of doing researches were the discoveries of new primates in Indonesia such as Tarsius tumpara (new species found in Siau Island with his friends) and Macaca togianus (in Togean island) and the hybrid animals in Sulawesi. His colleagues dedicated the finding of new flying lizard in Togean Island as Draco supriatnai. With his colleagues from US University he found some new species of skink from Togean Island of Central Sulawesi. With his colleagues from University of Tokyo, a new virus found from long tail macaques in West Java population. He also helped finding so many new species in reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals from Sulawesi and Papua. His research and also supervision of master and doctoral students found so many new frontier in science such as finding a new inbreeding population of catfish, diversity of Papua red fruits, monitoring of Sumatran Tiger, Rhinos, Orangutan, and many others.
For his dedication at the conservation and environment works, he received a distinguished award from his Royal Highness Prince Berhard of the Netherlands in 1999 as an Officer of the most Excellence Order of Golden Ark. In 2009, he also received the most privileges Award from President B.J. Habibie of Indonesia, or Habibie Award for outstanding achievements on research on Natural Science. In 2010, he received Terry MacManus Award from Conservation International for his dedication for bringing more private sectors involvement in environmental awareness and action in conserving nature. In an op-ed in New York Times and in the Hot, Flat and Crowded book written by Thomas L. Friedman, very famous best seller book and Pulitzer award journalist pictured him as “The Noah of Modern History” and Conservation International mentioned him as “Conservation Warrior”.
He published 15 books mostly in the Indonesia’s biodiversity and environment and more than 100 articles in the international journals (science, nature, conservation biology, primates, evolution, primate conservation, herpetologica, and many others). Two of his books, “Biologi Konservasi” (Conservation Biology, in 2007) and “Menyelamatkan Alam Indonesia” (Saving of Indonesia’s Nature, in 2009) are among the best seller on the environment books in Indonesia. In 2010, together with Dr. Sharon Gursky-Doyen from Texas AM University authored an edited book “Indonesian Primates” published by Springer, New York.