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Marshall is a retired cultural anthropologist with a professional focus on population and international family planning. Marshall conducted research in a village in North India on a Fulbright grant, then taught at the University of North Carolina (with a joint appointment in the Anthropology Dept. and the School of Public Health), and for eight years directed social science research on family planning for the World Health Organization. Before moving to Albemarle County in 1988 he spent five years on the faculty of Leiden University (the Netherlands), working to strengthen a university in East Java, Indonesia.
Marshall has been active in the Charlottesville community, serving two terms as chair of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority and the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority from 1996 to 2000. He has served on the Boards of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge (1998-2005), The Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (1993-2000; Chair, 1993-1995), Strategic Planning Work Group of the Task Force on Teen Pregnancy/STD Prevention (Chair 1997-99), Citizens for Albemarle (1989-2000; President 1997-1999), Ivy Creek Foundation (1992-1995), Piedmont Mainstream Citizens (1995-97), and was Chair of the Moormans Scenic River Advisory Board (1993-95). Marshall is a member of the Jeffersonland Barbershop Chorus (since 1988) and the Piedmont Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (with his 1911 Model T Ford). During the past decade he has taught five courses on population in the OLLI (nee JILL) program, and given invited lectures at the University of Virginia and other local colleges.