Dr Susanna Bonnet
Senior Lecturer
2 106
IB 48
Chemistry Building 106

Short CV

Susan Bonnet obtained her Ph D in Organic Chemistry in 1993 at the University of the Free State. She returned to the University of the Free State in 2000 as a Facilitator at the Welkom Satellite Campus. In 2004, she started working as a researcher at the Department of Chemistry at the Bloemfontein Campus. She was appointed as lecturer in 2005 and promoted to senior lecturer in 2009. She studied under Prof. Daneel Ferreira, Chair of Pharmacognosy, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA in 2006, spend two months at Cambridge University in 2010 where she worked with Dr. Dave Reid on a Solid State NMR in vestigation into wattle bark extract, and did a project with Prof Skaltounis at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2013. Her research interests include flavonoid chemistry, ethnopharmacology, investigation into the constiuents of wattle bark extract and modification of wattle bark extract. She is considered an expert in structure elucidation and interpretation of NMR spectra.


Publications (Short List)

  1. Anwar E. M. Noreljaleel, A. Wilhelm, S. L. Bonnet, and J. H. van der Westhuizen. Synthesis and Bioactivity of Reduced Chalcones Containing Sulfonamide Side Chains. Journal of Natural Products (2018) 81 41 - 48. (Impact Factor 3.28)
  2. Kinyok, M. J.; Bonnet, S. L.; Notéb, O. P.; Mbing, J. N.; Kamto, E. L.; van der Westhuizen, J. H.; Pegnyem, D. E. A new flavanolignan and a new alkane from the stem bark of Newtonia griffoniana. Nat Prod Res. 2017, 13, 1-6. DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2017.1299725 (Impact Factor 1.83)
  3. Wilhelm, A.; Kendrekar, P.; Noreljaleel, A. E. M.; Abay, E. T.; Bonnet, S. L.; Wiesner, L.; De Kock, C.; Swart, K.; Van der Westhuizen, J. H. Syntheses and in vitro antiplasmodial activity of aminoalkylated chalcones and analogues. J. Nat. Prod. 2015, 78 (8), 1848–1858. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00114 (Impact Factor 3.28)
  4. Ze Han, Matthew C. Achilonu, Pravin S. Kendrekar, Elizabeth Joubert, Daneel Ferreira, Susan L. Bonnet, Jan H. van der Westhuizen. Concise and Scalable Synthesis of Aspalathin, a Powerful Plasma Sugar-Lowering Natural Product. J. Nat. Prod., 2014, 77 (3), 583–588. DOI: 10.1021/np4008443 (Impact Factor 3.28)


  5. Malherbe, C. J.; Willenburg, E.; de Beer, D; Bonnet, S. L.; van der Westhuizen, J. H.; Joubert, E. Iriflophenone-3-C-glucoside from Cyclopia genistoides: Isolation and quantitative comparison of antioxidant capacity with mangiferin and isomangiferin using on-line HPLC antioxidant assays. J. Chrom. B. 2014, 951-952, 164-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2014.01.038 (Impact Factor 2.73)


  6. Reid, D. G.; Bonnet, S. L.; Kemp, G.; Van der Westhuizen, J. H. Analysis of commercial proanthocyanidins.Part 4: Solid state 13C NMR as a tool for in situ analysis of proanthocyanidin tannins, in heartwood and bark of quebracho and acacia, and related species. Phytochemistry. 2013, 94, 243-248. DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.06.007 (Impact Factor 2.55)


  7. Wilhelm-Mouton, A.; Bonnet, S. L.; Ding, Y.; Li, X-C.; Ferreira, D.; van der Westhuizen, J. H. Photochemistry synthesis. Part 2: Enantiomerically pure polyhydroxy-1,1,3-triarylpropan-2-ols, J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chemistry, 2012, 227, 18-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2011.10.019 (Impact Factor 2.63)


  8. Achilonu, M.C.; Bonnet, S.L.; Van der Westhuizen, J.H. Synthesis of Proanthocyanidins Part 1. The First Oxidative Formation of the Interflavanyl Bond in Procyanidins. J. Org. Lett., 2008, 10 (17), 3865–3868. DOI: 10.1021/ol801353u (Impact Factor 6.58)



1. Ethnomedicine
Anti-psychotic drugs and phytomedicines from African traditional medicine. The project aims to develop commercial drugs and phytomedicines from indigenous knowledge to treat and sedate patients suffering from psychotic diseases. It has been realised that GABA(A) receptors are involved in psychosis and pain. Our access to bioassays to identify GABA(A) modulators offers an ideal opportunity to investigate African traditional medicine used to treat psychosis, to provide scientific explanations for their efficacy, identify the active molecules involved, and develop phytomedicines and commercial antipsychotic drugs. The investigations include toxicity studies and analytical methods to establish the minimum amount of the active ingredient needed. Identification and characterisation of the active single molecular entities responsible for antipsychotic effects of African traditional
medicines via activity guided fractionation are the key objective.
2. Wattle extract investigation
We are currently investigating the constituents in unsulfited and sulfited wattle bark extract and the sulfitation, sulfomethylation, Mannich reactions etc.
3. Synthesis of poly-hydroxylated benzophenones and xanthones



Area(s) of Interest

Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Flavonoid Chemistry

Natural products


Structure elucidation – especially NMR spectroscopy


Courses Presented

Dr Bonnet has taught on all levels of  Organic Chemistry:

CHEM1643 Organic Chemistry 1st years Theory

CHEM 2623 Organic Chemistry 2nd years Theory

CHEM 3743 Organic Chemistry 3rd years Theory

CHEG 6803 Organic Chemistry Honnours: Radical Chemistry and Photochemistry Theory, Practical projects

Community Service

Service Learning


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

Home new

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.