I am Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology, and study the social cognition of human and great ape infants. I have published 97 peer-reviewed journal articles and 44 book chapters, authored a book, Responsive Care: Behavioral Intervention for Nursery-Reared Chimpanzees and a co-edited (with Heidi Keller) a 2017 book entitled, The Cultural Nature of Attachment: Contextualizing Relationships and Development.
My research concerns understanding the process of early development, by studying non-verbal communication, emotion, cognition, and joint attention across species. I am particularly interested in how environmental variables influence the diversity in social cognition outcomes of humans and chimpanzees. The study across species leads to better understanding of the precursors, contexts, and sequelae of social cognition in human development, as exemplified in the following studies:
1. Bard, Keller, Ross, Hewlett, Butler, Boysen & Matsuzawa (2021). Joint attention in human and chimpanzee infants in varied socio-ecological contexts. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 86(4). with short videos, teaching resources, and commentaries on the Monograph Matters website
2. Leavens, D.A., Bard, K.A., & Hopkins, W.D. (2019). The mismeasure of ape social cognition. Animal Cognition. DOI 10.1007/s10071-017-1119-1
3. Bard, K.A. & Hopkins, W.D. (2018). Early socio-emotional intervention mediates long-term effects of atypical rearing on structural co-variation in gray matter in adult chimpanzees. Psychological Science, 29, 594-603.
4. Morelli, G., Bard, K.A., Chaudhary, N., Gottlieb, A., Keller, H., Murray, M., Quinn, N., Rosabal-Coto, M., Scheidecker, G., Takada, A., & Vicedo, M. (2018). Bringing the real world into developmental science: A Commentary on Weber, Fernald, & Diop (2017). Child Development, 89(6), e594-e603.
5. Keller, H., Bard, K.A., Morelli, G., Chaudhary, N., Vicedo, M., Rosabal-Coto, M., Scheidecker, G., Murray, M., & Gottlieb, A. (2018). The myth of universal sensitive responsiveness: Comment on Mesman et al., (2017). Child Development, 89(5), 1921-1928.
6. Bard, K.A. & Leavens, D.A. (2014). The importance of development for comparative primatology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 43, 183-200.
7. Bard, K.A., Bakeman, R., Boysen, S.T. & Leavens, D.A. (2014). Emotional engagements enhance and predict social cognition in young chimpanzees. Developmental Science, 17:5, 682-696.
I am Unit Cordinator of the Social and Developmental Psychology module, in which I deliver developmental lectures on infancy, self-awareness, and culture.
I am also the University of Portsmouth Coordinator for the Learning, Knowledge, & Behaviour (LKB) Thematic Cluster Pathway of the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. I teach on an interdiscplinary unit for the MSc students, and co-lead (with LKB coordinators from University of Brighton and University of Southampton) the LKB cohort activities.