Graham completed a six-year technical apprenticeship and gained a National Diploma in Forestry before entering high education and has maintained a keen interest in trees, forests and forest-dependent people ever since. He has a PhD in political ecology for which he carried out field research among the Mazahua people of Central Mexico. In the 1990s, Graham coordinated a British Council Higher Education Link Programme between UK universities and Mexican farming systems research institutions. He has held lectureships and senior lectureships at a number of institutions of the University of London. Whilst at Wye and later Imperial College he became involved with postgraduate distance learning programmes in sustainable rural development and continues to work in this area, most recently coordinating the writing of a sustainable forest management module for the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy at SOAS.
Graham says: "I am fascinated by all aspects of nature-society relations, which has led to my involvement in the production of a series of edited volumes in environmental sociology. More recently I have become involved in the emerging field of agroecology, a transdisciplinary intellectual endeavour that is particularly strongly rooted in the Americas and encompasses scientific research, agricultural practice and agrarian social movements. I use the term 'transdisciplinary' to describe my research, because as well as focusing on issues that fall between conventional disciplinary boundaries, my approach to those issues incorporates elements from a wide range of disciplines".
Graham joined UCL in 2012 as a founder member of the Institute of the Americas. In addition to his academic work he undertakes environmental consultancies, carries out forest management certification audits to FSC Forest Stewardship principles and criteria, and manages his own smallholding in Kent.
Graham is the module convenor for BASC0016 Environmental Sociology and BASC0031 Ecosociologies: Theory, Analysis and Action.