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portrait of Robert Noble

Robert Noble

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Mathematics

Contact Information


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Robert Noble uses mathematical and computational models to investigate the evolution and ecology of cancer, in collaboration with experimental biologists and clinicians.

Dr Noble obtained a DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford in 2014, with a thesis on mathematical modelling of infectious disease. He then held postdoctoral research positions in mathematical oncology at the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (2014-2017), ETH Zurich (2017-2020), and the University of Zurich (2018-2020). He joined City as a lecturer in July 2020.


  1. DPhil, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Oct 2009 – Jan 2014
  2. MMath, University of York, United Kingdom, Oct 1999 – Jul 2003


  1. Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, City, University London, Jul 2020 – present
  2. Postdoctoral researcher, University of Zurich, May 2018 – Jun 2020
  3. Postdoctoral researcher, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Feb 2017 – Jun 2020
  4. Postdoctoral researcher, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, Jan 2014 – Jan 2017

Research Students

Veselin Manojlovic

Attendance: Sep 2020 – Sep 2023, full-time

Thesis title: The evolution of cancer risk and progression

Role: 1st Supervisor


Journal articles (11)

  1. Noble, R., Burley, J.T., Le Sueur, C. and Hochberg, M.E. (2020). When, why and how tumour clonal diversity predicts survival. Evolutionary Applications, 13(7), pp. 1558–1568. doi:10.1111/eva.13057.
  2. Bacevic, K., Noble, R., Soffar, A., Wael Ammar, O., Boszonyik, B., Prieto, S. … Fisher, D. (2017). Spatial competition constrains resistance to targeted cancer therapy. Nature Communications, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01516-1.
  3. Hochberg, M.E. and Noble, R.J. (2017). A framework for how environment contributes to cancer risk. Ecology Letters, 20(2), pp. 117–134. doi:10.1111/ele.12726.
  4. Vasse, M., Noble, R.J., Akhmetzhanov, A.R., Torres-Barceló, C., Gurney, J., Benateau, S. … Hochberg, M.E. (2017). Antibiotic stress selects against cooperation in the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(3), pp. 546–551. doi:10.1073/pnas.1612522114.
  5. Noble, R., Kaltz, O., Nunney, L. and Hochberg, M.E. (2016). Overestimating the role of environment in cancers. Cancer Prevention Research, 9(10), pp. 773–776. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-16-0126.
  6. Noble, R., Kaltz, O. and Hochberg, M.E. (2015). Peto’s paradox and human cancers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1673). doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0104.
  7. Noble, R., Christodoulou, Z., Kyes, S., Pinches, R., Newbold, C.I. and Recker, M. (2013). The antigenic switching network of Plasmodium falciparum and its implications for the immuno-epidemiology of malaria. eLife, 2013(2). doi:10.7554/eLife.01074.
  8. Noble, R. and Recker, M. (2012). A statistically rigorous method for determining antigenic switching networks. PLoS ONE, 7(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039335.
  9. Fastman, Y., Noble, R., Recker, M. and Dzikowski, R. (2012). Erasing the epigenetic memory and beginning to switch-the onset of antigenic switching of var genes in plasmodium falciparum. PLoS ONE, 7(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034168.
  10. Noble, R., Kaltz, O. and Hochberg, M.E. Statistical interpretations and new findings on Variation in Cancer Risk
    Among Tissues.
  11. Hochberg, M.E., Noble, R.J. and Braude, S. A Hypothesis to Explain Cancers in Confined Colonies of Naked Mole Rats. . doi:10.1101/079012.