I am Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology, and study the social cognition of human and great ape infants. I have published 95 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.
Prior to arriving at Portsmouth in 1999, I was a Research Scientist at Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, where I investigated the roles of emotion and socialization in early development, and designed a Responsive Care Nursery for chimpanzees to enhance their species-typical development.
Currently, I am an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society- Developmental section, and a member of International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Society for Cross Cultural Research, International Society for Research on Emotion, Primate Society of Great Britain, and International Primatological Society. I served as President of the Primate Society of Great Britain and President of the European Federation for Primatology.
I sit on the Advisory Board of Primates, am Associate Editor for Animal Cognition, Section Editor for PLOS ONE, and on the Editorial Boards for American Journal of Primatology, Emotion Review, and Child Development Perspectives.
My research concerns understanding the process of development, by studying non-verbal communication, emotion, cognition, and joint attention across species. I am particularly interested in how environmental variables influence social cognition outcomes. 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, 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Leavens, D.A., Bard, K.A., & Hopkins, W.D. (2017). The mismeasure of ape social cognition. Animal Cognition. DOI 10.1007/s10071-017-1119-1
5. Bard, K.A. & Leavens, D.A. (2014). The importance of development for comparative primatology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 43, 183-200.
6. 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.