Dr. Joseph Graves, Jr. received his Ph.D. in Environmental, Evolutionary and Systematic Biology from Wayne State University in 1988. In 1994 he was elected a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS.) In 2012, he was chosen as one of the “Sensational Sixty” commemorating 60 years of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award. In 2017, he was listed as an “Outstanding Graduates” in Biology at Oberlin College; and was an “Innovator of the Year” in US Black Engineer Magazine.
His research in the evolutionary genomics of adaptation shapes our understanding of biological aging and bacterial responses to nanomaterials. His books on the biology of race are entitled: The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, Rutgers University Press, 2005 and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, Dutton Press, 2005; with Alan Goodman, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Race: But Where Afraid to Ask, Columbia University Press, 2021.
He leads programs addressing underrepresentation of minorities in science. He aids underserved youth in Greensboro via the YMCA chess program. He has also served on the Racial Reconciliation and Justice Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.