Dr. Gard is an Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology, Faculty Affiliate in the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience (NACS), Social Data Science Center, and the Maryland Population Research Center, and Director of the Growth And Resilience across Development (GARD) Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. Together with her students and collaborators, she studies how environmental adversity and promotive factors shape children’s brain and behavioral development – with a particular focus on how features of the neighborhood context and the parent-child relationship guide risk and resilience processes. A prominent feature of her work is to increase sociodemographic diversity in neurobiological research by including historically under-represented groups in research design and implementation. 

CV: AGard_CV_082520.pdf139.92 KB

Doctoral Programs

  • Clinical
  • Developmental


  • PhD
    Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2019)
  • BA
    Psychology, University of California Los Angeles (2010)

My job as a mentor is to guide students to think critically about developmental processes and help them achieve their professional goals. But we are also people – with unique hopes, challenges, and identities. I am committed to creating an atmosphere that fosters both professional and personal growth, and I will support you in any way I can as you navigate your academic journey.

If you are interested in joining the GARD Lab as an undergraduate research assistant, please fill out this application form. If you are a prospective graduate student or postdoc, please send me an email at arigard [at] umd.edu and indicate some of your research and professional interests. Students interested in affective brain development, parent-child relationships, neighborhood social processes and the built environment, and population science will be good fits for the GARD Lab. Students should also be willing to seek training in advanced quantitative methods.

Prospective graduate students: I am not recruiting new students for Fall 2023.

Humans are complex. Our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings result from reciprocal interactions between individual dispositions and environmental exposures that unfold over time. My research considers developmental processes across multiple levels of analysis (e.g., genetic predisposition, brain development, social experiences, context). This approach requires collaboration within and across disciplines. I believe that scientific research better serves communities and the goal of increasing knowledge when it transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and integrates diverse perspectives.

Former Students

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Joelle Fuchs
arigard [at] umd.edu