Arthur Milnes Marshall was professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at Owens College Manchester from 1879 until his death in 1893. Marshall was born on 8 June 1852 at Birmingham, and was educated at St John's College Cambridge. After graduating in natural science, Marshall remained at Cambridge, teaching classes of comparative morphology, and undertaking research with the zoologist Francis Balfour. In 1877 Marshall entered St Bartholomew's Hospital to train as a doctor. However, his studies were interrupted when he was appointed professor of zoology at Owens College in 1879. This was a new post, created by splitting an existing chair in natural history.
Marshall made a significant impact at Owens, gaining a reputation as a gifted teacher and an energetic administrator. He developed zoology as a serious academic discipline at the College and the Victoria University of which Owens was part. He succeeded in getting support for new zoological laboratories, which he considered essential to the research he wished promote. Marshall's preoccupation with teaching and administration meant he undertook relatively little research himself.
Marshall's background was as an embryologist, with a special interest in vertebrate morphology. His research interests included studies of cranial nerves and also of the invertebrate sea pens. He wrote a number of works on comparative anatomy, including several successful text books. Marshall was president of the Manchester Microscopical Society for the last seven years of his life. In 1885 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1890 was president of the Biological Section of the British Society for the Advancement of Science.
Marshall was an enthusiastic promoter of College sports, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Athletic Union in 1885, of which he served as President. He was also a keen mountaineer, and it was while climbing Scafell that he was killed in a fall on 31 December 1893.