Merran Eby is from North Hatley, Québec, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, where she is also the recipient of a CIGI Graduate Fellowship.
Merran graduated with distinction from Bishop’s University in 2010 with an honours degree in Studio Art and a major in Classical Studies. Her continued studies in modern languages and travels in Asia after graduation ultimately led her to spend five years living and working in Iwaki, a coastal city in northeastern Japan that lies directly to the south of the exclusion zone established in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of March 2011.
During Merran’s time in Iwaki (August 2012 – August 2017), she made great efforts to become involved in many local volunteer projects, from fundraising events to manual labour in the exclusion zone. Moreover, as a native English speaker working in Fukushima, Merran’s contributions to volunteer work, and eventual leading role in the EFL community there on the prefectural and national levels, also gave her the opportunity to field many questions from abroad about safety, the effects of radiation, and the current state of recovery in the affected regions of Fukushima.
Merran is deeply passionate about the long-term recovery of coastal Fukushima. In November 2016, she was invited to speak on a panel at an international forum on the future of Fukushima held in the town of Hirono, once itself a part of the exclusion zone and now a centre for many local recovery projects. What she heard at this forum, which was attended by representatives of such major international organisations as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations, helped to crystallise her desire to pursue in greater depth an understanding of how countries deal with rebuilding in the wake of natural disasters, and of how the environmental and social fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster has affected the future state of nuclear power and renewable energy. She is also greatly interested in the many social and economic issues surrounding the return of long-term evacuees to their old homes and communities.
In her spare time, Merran pursues language study, choir, and traditional Japanese jangara dance. She is also currently working with a small team of Iwaki-based community volunteers towards the translation into English of a compendium of interviews with tsunami survivors.