Joseph L. Graves, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor & Associate Dean for Research

Phone: 336.285.2858

Fax: 336.500.0115


Research Interests

Dr. Joseph Graves, Jr. research concerns the evolutionary genetics of postponed aging and biological concepts of race in humans, with over sixty papers and book chapters published, and had appeared in six documentary films and numerous television interviews on these general topics.  He has been a Principal Investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Arizona Disease Research Commission.

His books on the biology of race are entitled: The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, Rutgers University Press, 2001, 2005 and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, Dutton Press, 2004, 2005.  A summary of Dr. Graves’s research career can be found on Wikipedia, and he is also featured in the ABC-CLIO volume on Outstanding African American scientists.  In November 2007, he was featured in the CNN Anderson Cooper 360 program on Dr. James Watson.

He has served as a member of the external advisory board for the National Human Genome Center at Howard University.  In January 2006, he became a member of the  “New Genetics and the African Slave Trade” working group of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute of Harvard University, chaired by professors Henry Louis Gates and Evelyn Hammonds.  He is currently serving as chair of the Senior Advisory Board for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) at Duke University .

He is currently an Associate Editor for the 2nd Edition for the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Gale-Cengage.  In 2007, he became a member of the inaugural editorial board of Evolution: Education and Outreach, published by Springer-Verlag.  He has been an active participant in the struggle to protect and improve the teaching of science, particularly evolutionary biology in the public schools.  He has been a leader in addressing the under representation of minorities in science careers, having directed successful programs in California and Arizona.  He is a member of the board of the Guilford Education Alliance.  From 2005 – 2009, he has been a leading force in aiding underserved youth in Greensboro via the YMCA chess program.

Selected Publications

  1. Graves, L., Hertweck, K.L., Phillips, M.A.,, Han, M.V., Cabral, L.G., Barber, T.T., Greer, L.F., Burke, M.F., Mueller, L.D., and Rose, M.R. 2016. Deep Genomics of Convergent Experimental Evolution in Drosophila, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2017. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw282. First published online: January 12, 2017.
  2. Graves L., Hurtado, M., Reiber, C., Scotchmoor, J., and Thanukos, A., Core Competencies of Evolutionary Science for Medicine, Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health doi: 10.1093/emph/eow029.
  3. Tajkarimi, M., Rhinehardt, K. Thomas, M. Ewumkem, JA. Campbell, A., Boyd, Turner, D., S. Harrison, S.H., Barrick, J.E., and Graves, J.L. 2017. Selection for ionic- confers silver nanoparticle resistance in Escherichia coli. In prep.
  4. Tajkarimi, , Harrison, S.H., Hung, A.M., Kathariou, S. and Graves, J.L., 2016. Mechanobiology of Antimicrobial Resistant Escherichia coli and Listeria innocua, PLoS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149769.
  5. Graves, J.L., Biological Theories of Race Beyond the Millennium, in von Vacano and Suzuki (eds.), Reconsidering Race: Global and Comparative Studies in Race and Genomics (New York: Oxford U. Press), (in press) 2016.
  6. Graves, J.L., Tajkarimi, M., Cunningham, Q., Campbell, A., Nonga, H., Harrison, S.H., Barrick, J.G., Rapid evolution of silver nanoparticle resistance in Escherichia coli, Frontier in Genetics 6(42), 2015, doi: 10.3389/fgene2015.0042.
  7. Mead, L.S., Forcino, F.L., Brown Clarke, J., and Graves J.L., Factors influencing the career pursuit of underrepresented minorities with an interest in biology, Evolution: Education and Outreach, Evolution: Education and Outreach 8:6 DOI: 10.1186/s12052-015-0034-7, 2015.
  8. Graves, J.L., Great is their sin: Biological Determinism in the Age of Genomics, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science DOI: 10.1177/0002716215586558, 2015.
  9. Graves, L., Why the non-existence of biological races, does not mean the non-existence of racism, in: “The Mechanisms of Color-Blind Racism,” Special Issue of American Behavioral Scientist, DOI: 10.1177/0002764215588810, 2015.
  10. Moradi Kordmahalleh, ; Gorji Sefidmazgi, M.; Homaifar, A., Karimoddini, A.; Guiseppi-Elie, A.; and Graves, J.L., Gene Regulatory Networks with Hidden-Delayed Parameters, IEEE 14th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (BIBE), 2014.
  11. Graves, J.L., Darkness and the Dawn? Evolution: Education and Outreach 8(1) 2015; .
  12. Graves, L., The Safety of Nanomaterials: What We Know and What We Need to Know, in Advances in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, (Eds. Kelkar, A.D., Herr, D., and Ryan, J.G.), pp: 267—286, CRC Press, 2014.
  13. Graves, L., Response: Developmental Systems and Inequality, Current Anthropology 55(5): 537-39, 2014.
  14. Tajkarimi, , Iyer, D., Tarannum, M., Cunningham, Q., Sharpe, I., Harrison, S.H., and Graves, J.L., The effect of silver nanoparticle size and coating on Escherichia coli, JSM Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, 1025, 2014.
  15. Graves, J.L., A Grain of Salt: Metallic and Metallic Oxide Nanoparticles as the New Antimicrobials, JSM Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, 1026, 2014

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Gunsch, C., Granek, J., Rawls, J., Graves, J.L., and Wray, J. Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM), National Science Foundation NRT, August 2015 – 2020, $2,999,999.00; Graves, JL co-PI and co-director.

Brand, O., Herr, D., and Aravamudhan, S. Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC), National Science Foundation NNCI, August 2015—2020, $8,000,000, Graves J.L., Executive board, JSNN Education and Outreach & Social/Ethical Implications Director.

Office Hours

By Appointment


Ph.D., Environmental, Evolutionary and Systematic Biology

Wayne State University, 1988

A.B., Biology

Oberlin College, 1973-1977