This blog is run by Rob Noble (@robjohnnoble). I’m a mathematical biologist in Basel, Switzerland, applying evolutionary and ecological theory and models to better understand cancer, as detailed in my academic profile.

The blog name is inspired by a quote from the penultimate paragraph of Darwin’s On the origin of species:

“When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.”

A goal of evolutionary biology is to understand why a few lines persist when others do not. (And I’m fond of puns, so I like that the quote has my name in it.) The blog name also refers to mathematical models which, like cocktails and caricatures, are best pared down to essential components.